Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Father and Son

I started a free translation of the passage in the preceding post using what might be called dynamic equivalence or a cognitive translation. However, I found that as the references became metaphorical it was hard to maintain the contemporary style.

This is Haimon talking to his father, Creon, in Antigone by Sophocles. Some things never change.

"You think you are right all the time,
That you are more articulate and more intelligent than everyone else,
But in fact you are pretty shallow,
If you were really smart you would be willing to learn more,
And not care so much about holding a tight rein all the time.”

Here is a 1954 translation by Elizabeth Wyckoff.

"Whoever thinks that he alone is wise
Ηis eloquence, his mind, above the rest,
Come the unfolding, shows his emptiness.
A man, though wise, should never be ashamed
Of learning more, and must unbend his mind.
Have you not seen the trees beside the torrent,
Τhe ones that bend them saving every leaf,
While the resistant perish root and branch.
And so the ship that will not slacken sail,
The sheet drawn tight, unyielding, overturns,
She ends the voyage with the keel on top."

Antigone translated by Elizabeth Wyckoff, in Sophocles I, ed. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore, U. of Chicago Press. 1954.

Free translation, appearing first, produced with the help of Liddell and Scott, 1875, a tattered old copy of an edition intended for use in American schools "in preparation for college."


Post a Comment

<< Home