1. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Some translated poems

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Mans, Jun 27, 2014.

    As you know I am improving my English, so I love translating. I translated these Persian poems that are belong a famous poet named " Saeb". He was an able poet that lived about 300 years ago ( 1700).
    His poems are mostly single -line and he has used the wonderful metaphors in them, while he has expressed a philosophical or ethical principles just in a single stanza. I considered to translate some of his poems that were possible for me to turn them into English.
    I hope that I could translate theme close to their origin contents. These poems are rhythmic in Farsi but when they are translated to English or other languages, the rhythm is lost. Also I personally have chosen a name for every poem.




    " The quality of clean love"

    Love never arrive a heart based on a task
    Flood never ask the address of a house




    " Window in the prison"

    Looking at the flowers from inside a cage is heartbreaking for a bird
    A window in prison , makes the prisoners more regretful



    "Respect to people"

    King and poor are equal
    in the eyes of the high-minded
    The ups and downs are hidden in the ocean



    "Beauty"

    Although beauty is not afraid of the clean eyes
    But hide your face of every glassy thing


    "Always there is a way"

    If a door is closed, the other ten doors will be open
    The fingers are the interpreters of a mute


    "Right"

    Don’t display yourself unable against an oppressor
    The tears of steak increases the fire of the wood



    " The suffered "

    There is not fear of death
    for one who that has suffered of sorrow, for years
    The burned farm doesn’t fear of thunderbolt


    " Broken heart "

    The opposite wind increases the waves of the sea
    How advice can soothes a broken heart


    " Youth and old age "

    What we have done with our youth heartlessly
    We are deserve to what the old age is doing with us, now



    "Just the one concept"

    The argues between religions will be ended to a result eventually
    These all dreams are one but the interpretations are different


    " The soundless glass"

    The complaining of my heart
    doesn’t influence into the other hearts
    The breaking of my heart glass
    is soundless like a bubble



    " Love can not be hiding"

    The secret of love will never be hiding
    Why you stamp the letter that it is uncovered.


    " The carefree heart "

    Don’t expect an alone man with a carefree heart
    There are a lot of wishes in the heart of a bird in the cage




    “ The heartless beloved “

    There is a bygone enmity between rock and glass
    How is it possible our hearts are attached


    " Adolescence"

    What do you are asking about the adolescence
    It came like a lightening and went like spring


    " The convoy of life"

    The convoy of life is passing fast unaware
    If, this convoy had a bell to inform



    " When the greed becomes youth"

    When man became old, his greed became youth
    The sleep become more sever at the morning time




    " The memory of loved ones"

    The loved ones went but their memory remained in the mind
    It Just remains a fire of a convey when it decamps



    " The bad kinsman "

    The household enemy is worth than the outside hostile
    The most of Joseph's complains was about his brothers



    " The sound of broken heart"

    Don’t say, there is not sound for broken heart glass
    Because, this sound will be hearing in dooms day



    " The reign of Love"

    There is no place for honor in the love reign
    If a cedar is planted here it will become a weeping willow



    " The one who fell in real love"

    The flood that met the ocean
    It never came back to stream
    It is not possible who fell in real love
    he goes back to selfishness


    Of course I will translate some of other poems of this poet in future
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This is Saib Tabrizi if I'm not mistaken. He's known for his couplets.
     
  3. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Yes, you are right, the correct name is the same you mentioned. His name is " Saib Tabrizi".
    Dear thirdwind, How do you know him? Have you studied about the Persian poems and the biography of Persian poets?
    I don't know the situation of these olden Iranian poets in the west. Are they as the well known poets for the west readers?
    By the way, Have I translated the poems correctly?
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Someone back in college used to read a lot of Persian poets, so I've heard of most of the popular ones.

    Rumi is the most popular Persian poet here. Khayyam is another famous one, but only those who have studied poetry know about him. Sadly, poetry isn't very popular here. That's one reason why Western readers may not have heard of some of the other famous poets.

    I can't say how accurate they are, but there are a few grammatical errors. Some of the word choices are also incorrect. Let's take this poem as an example:
    First, I would say "Looking at" instead of "Watching." Second, being regretful means feeling sad or disappointed about something that has happened. So "regret" would not be the right word here. Maybe "heartbreaking" is more appropriate, but since I don't know what this means in the original Persian, I can't say for sure. The second line I like as it is (except there shouldn't be a comma there).

    Translating poetry is tough work. You have to make sure that the author's intent and meaning is preserved while also trying to maintain some of the poetic qualities of the original piece. This is very hard to do when the languages are not closely related. You also have to have an excellent command of both languages because you have to be able to capture the subtleties and nuances if possible.

    I just checked online and there doesn't seem to be an English translation of Saib Tabrizi's work. If you get good at translating, maybe you could translate Tabrizi into English for a living. ;)
     
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  5. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    First of all, thank you for your good explanation and guiding :) Then, you made me hopeful to my work. I almost am sure the translation is accurate. I know the both languages and can distinguish the concepts and proposes that are used in the both language, although I have some grammar shortcomings in writing yet.
    If I translate the most of the Saib's poems into English, do you forecast, it will be a popular book in the west ( after editing and polishing)? I question this, because you know the choice of the west readers.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's hard to say. Right now, Rumi's collection is #12 on Amazon's list of bestselling poetry. So there certainly is an interest in Eastern poetry, but marketing plays a big role as well. I'm willing to bet that the majority of poetry readers have never heard of Saib Tabrizi, so getting his name out there and also convincing readers to buy a collection of his poems would be tough work. I think one of the reasons Rumi is so popular now is because he has been a part of Western literature for over a hundred years. The first English translation of Rumi came out in the 1800s. So he's a name people are familiar with and are comfortable buying.

    The reputation of the translator is also important. The number of sales depends on the quality of the translation. A prime example of this is Russian literature. For a long time, Constance Garnett's translations were very popular in English-speaking countries even though they were inaccurate. Her translations have now been replaced by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. When I buy Russian literature, I always look for their translations first.

    At the very least, if you do decide to translate Saib Tabrizi, you'll be happy knowing that you have no competition. :p
     
  7. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Thank you again:)
    It doesn't satisfy me that I translate a book in risk and then it haven't had any benefit for me in return to my labor and time. In other word, in this situation, the honor of being the first translator of Saib's poems is not enough for me.
    Yes, I know the Tabrizi poems are good and translating it to English, for first time, can be a great work but it is the right of a writer or translator to expect some income to be able to continue his other works. So he has to investigate about writing a book or translating a writing before he perform them with close eyes. You explained enough that marketing a book dependent on some conditions, among a good translation. But plus to these conditions I am curious to know what would be the reflection of Tabrizi poems in book markets in the west. So I return to the translated poems that I sent to WF. So let me I look you as a reader and ask you, were those poems interesting and attractive for you? (aside of the little errors that is seen)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I do like the poems and find them interesting. But keep in mind that I already have an interest in Eastern poetry. In fact, my interest is so great that I would consider paying money for such a collection. But that's just my personal take. I only know of one other person on this forum who would pay money for a collection of Tabrizi's poems. So that's two people out of all the members here who would potentially buy a collection like this. Like I said before, poetry isn't very popular. Poetry collections typically don't sell very well, at least here in the US (and also in the UK from what I heard).

    Your best bet would be to approach a publisher that publishes translations and see what they say. Of course, you would need to improve your English a bit more. But if you work hard, I think you could do a good job of translating poetry.

    If you're interested in translations, consider translating poetry written in English into Persian. I'm sure there are many Western poets Persian speakers would be interested in reading.
     
  9. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Who are they? May you introduce them to me? I am seeking for a good job so what is better than this good job that I translate some poems and market them. Don't worry, if I focus my thought on the reward of my writing and translating, my power and ability will become tenfold and I will be able to translate even the books of the aliens into English or Persian. Do not underestimate me :D
    I usually choose the shortest and easiest way. It is a tortuous path for me. Approaching to a publisher is not easy for me. I mostly like there is an interested investor to buy my writing and translating directly.
    Basically, the marketing of novel is not noticeable in Iran. The bestseller books are scientific books relative to technology and medicine. Also the textbooks of schools and universities are on top . Selling the art books is noticeable too. Due to my familiarity with book market in Iran, I know translating a poetry English book will not be a successful work.
     
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  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I wonder @Mans if you could find any of the original poems of a friend of mine, Mehri...oh crap I don't know her maiden name.

    She was an award winning poet as a young child, before she fled to the states to escape persecution (she's a Baha'i). If you could find any of her work in Iran it would mean a great deal to her.

    Do you think you could do that if I found out her last name?
     
  11. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Sorry. I can't look for someone's writing , who has fled from Iran. I am a poor writer, poet, translator and designer and am not an intelligent detective like Mr. Puaro. Also my IQ is low and I can't resolve a puzzle.
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's Lemex. Given his love of poetry, I'm fairly certain he would buy such a collection given the right price.
     
  13. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Thank you thirdwind for your grace :)
    How do I can say this to him? Also, why he didn't like my post or didn't send any comment?
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    He's on vacation right now, so he hasn't been posting here as much. Here, I'll tag @Lemex in this thread.
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I hope you don't feel I have ignored this thread, mans, but I'm currently on holiday soaking up the sun in southern Europe. And. Because my android is a heap of shit I'm essentially limited to my profile alerts.

    Anyway, yes, poetry is one of my chief passions. I'm about to start an MA degree with one of England's better universities, aiming to specialize in European Classical poetry and/or early medieval poetry, stuff like Dante, the Edda and Beowulf. I am planning my dissertation on Beowulf as a cross-cultural text. Translations like yours are of great interest to me, and Persian literature (I assume that term is correct) is something I'm nearly totally ignorant of - much to my shame. I also will not be able to read these in the original, which is also a hindrance I don't have with certain other languages. So again, your translations I find fascinating.

    I'll have to look at this thread more closely when I get back to the UK, but I am a translator myself. If you are (or anyone is) interested just send me a PM. I have translated poems by Horace, Virgil, Catullus (I have also made a blog breaking down a Catullus poem in Latin for English speakers) and the opening 20 or so lines of Beowulf.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
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  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Rereading those now I am back in the UK. I like them a lot, actually. If you want any help just ask me. I'm not sure what I'll be able to help with, but the offer stands.
     
  17. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    I don't know accurately what I have to ask but I question :

    Do you think, if the majority of Saib's poem ( that can be comprehensible for western people) is translated to English, the book markets will welcome the collection in the west?In other word, do people in the west will choose it? You read a sample of those poems in this thread, also you are familiar with choice of readers in the west, so what is your viewpoints ( or forecast) herein?
     
  18. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    It would depend on your interpretation of a successful book to be honest. Poetry is in the west pretty marginalized at the best of times, it's rare a Seamus Heaney comes along who appeals to the literary types and the every-day person. However, that said if the translations are of good quality it would certainly do respectably well in it's niche market, if it is marketed right and word got around about it.

    That's what I really must stress, it is a niche market you are talking about, but niche markets have passionate followers who do not just read their books, but study them.

    I know an old professor who specializes in middle eastern literature, and I know for a fact he would be very happy to take a look at translations of a Persian poet, if he was going to bring such a thing to undergrads or post grads. Don't expect such a book to sell like hotcakes, but aim to market it to academics, and also migrants - people trying to learn their new language English with material they might know about, or at least will feel more at home than reading something like Byron or Milton or something. That is where your sales will most likely come from.

    It might, for instance, be a good idea to provide the original Fasti along with your translations. This is one of the main reasons why I find translations fascinating: in effect every act of translation is a cross-cultural event.

    Might the man on the street be interested. Not really, but don't let that put you down, he's not likely to be interested in poetry at all. However, one of the surprising things about translations is they often prove popular - Fagles', Fitzgerald's Homers, and Heaney's Beowulf have all been very popular, however, it must also be pointed out that they are all Epics. Translated lyric poetry, though, as a rule does tend to be somewhat similar in principle.
     

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