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Poetry in Two Languages
|by Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.|
Satharoopa – A collection of hundred poems in two languages
Translating poetry written in English into Telugu is no new thing. But the work of two poets, one writing in English and another translating into Telugu and bringing out the work in one volume is not an everyday affair. Ashok Khanna, the writer in English lives in Delhi and the other, a busy doctor living in far flung Telangana, producing this work of a hundred poems in a single volume is laudable.
The poet’s wishes, desires, aspirations are in relation to poetry. Both the poet and the translator wanted it to be both the crown and peak of their effort. Translating poetry does not have any strict policy, theory or method. The translation stays till another effort and another translation comes up. This is accepted as a service to the readers who could read the poem in their own tongue. The first word in the translation could be antaa in the place of anneee. But thus is a matter of opinion which is not a critical comment.
It is only a hard and fast rule that is violated to show that ‘weakness’ is rendered as a plural.
The rendering is as powerful as the original. This is what the translator aims at – to be near perfection, not the perfection in the original. Here is a very short but very telling and thought provoking poem just in four lines:
There are some wondersome usages in the original poem. Why the life in the first line? And then in line three why Sometime and not the usual sometimes? The translator cannot question the poet’s liberties, whether they are poetic or not. The translator did not question, there is no way to know whether the poet wondered or not.
The translation is very sweet where the metaphors are brought out excellently as butter flies and bees (not beetles), seetakoOka chilukaloo-tummedalu. There is lot of difference between the bee and the beetle. Bees are admirable while beetles are insects. Butterflies appeal to all and the sensitivity of the rendering is commendable.
The absence of the pronoun to suggest the speaker or protagonist may be considered the reason for economy of words. In the rendering there is no feeling of the absence of the mention of the speaker. In ‘I’ the speaker is clearly indicated.
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