Monday, June 19, 2017

Wretched Pen-Pusher Or

Wretched Pen-Pusher Or


I shake the handle. Ring the bell.
The door is locked to me.
I need a key to get
inside J.K. Huysmans’
Against the Grain.

Here I sit with both
an American and an
English translation.
Some French words and phrases
too pregnant and succulent,
magical locks require
magical keys.

Each translator unlocks
meaning.
I cherry pick some
enchanted juxtapositions that the
translators offer as their
interpretations of the writer’s intent.

A shower of sparks
the abuse of miracles
groans and grimaces
a taste for the marvelous
enchantments of style

black mercury ointment
languorous dejection
delightful sadness
shameless gyration
feverishly awaiting

a god who protects scoundrels
humdrum happiness
delicately tinted soap bubbles

a handful of poets sparkled
                               
achieved through artifice
impact of galoshes

Two translations
neither more correct than
the other, each in their own way
enchanting and colorful.

Fiddle-faddle versus mish-mash
And twaddle
festive or voluptuous
like fire versus red hot needles
besotted or befuddled
shilly-shallying

the weather went from bad to worse
the weather was becoming very unsettled

This pitiable autumn or this lamentable autumn
moralizing nonsense or balderdash
Wishy-washy or ho hum

wretched pen-pusher or scribbler
or one who lackadaisically slaps the keyboard
not of a piano forte,
but his laptop

Wretched pen-pusher that I am





Sandy Kinnee

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