Monday, November 05, 2018

Outwitted, by Edwin Markham


One of my favorite poems is Edwin Markham's "Outwitted," published in 1915's Shoes of Happiness.  I decided to attempt a translation of this poem into Spanish.  Through this process, I learned that translating English poems into Spanish presents particular challenges with regard to the meter.  A line that is nine syllables in English is difficult to match exactly in Spanish.  I chose to use lines with 14 syllables in my translation.  I also learned that, in Spanish, a line that ends with the accent on the last syllable is counted as two, and that words, such as "que" and "él " are combined into one syllable when next to each other, because the E's flow into one another.  While the result of my efforts is far from a perfect translation, it was a fun learning process. Below is the original poem, followed by my translation.


Outwitted

by Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!


Lo Superado
por Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

A mí excluía el círculo que él dibujó —
Hereje, rebelde, una cosa de disgusto.
Pero por ingenio, el Amor y yo superamos:
Un círculo que le incluía, eso dibujamos.

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