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Lidia Vianu - Director of CTITC (CENTRE FOR THE TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE CONTEMPORARY TEXT), Bucharest University, Professor of Contemporary British Literature at the English Department of Bucharest University, Member of the Writers’ Union, Romania.

 

 
 
 
 
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CTITC

CENTRE FOR THE TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE CONTEMPORARY TEXT
CENTRUL PENTRU TRADUCEREA SI INTERPRETAREA TEXTULUI CONTEMPORAN

 

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 TRANSLATION CAFÉ 


 

MTTLC
MA Programme for the

TRANSLATION OF THE CONTEMPORARY LITERARY TEXT

Review of Contemporary Texts in Translation and E-Learning

 

 

 

DANNIE ABSE

Red Balloon

It sailed across the startled town,
over chapels, over chimney-pots,
wind-blown above a block of flats
before it floated down.

Oddly, it landed where I stood,
and finding's keeping, as you know.
I breathed on it, I polished it,
till it shone like living blood.

It was my shame, it was my joy,
it brought me notoriety.
From all of Wales the rude boys came,
it ceased to be a toy.

I heard the girls of Cardiff sigh
when my balloon, my red balloon,
soared higher like a happiness
towards the dark blue sky.

Nine months since, have I boasted of
my unique, my only precious;
but to no one dare I show it now
however long they swear their love.

'It's a Jew's balloon,' my best friend cried
'stained with our dear Lord's blood.’
‘That I'm a Jew is true,' I said,
said I, 'that cannot be denied.'

'What relevance?' I asked, surprised,
'what's religion to do with this?'
'Your red balloon's a Jew's balloon,
let's get it circumcised.'

Then some boys laughed and some boys cursed,
some unsheathed their dirty knives;
some lunged, some clawed at my balloon,
but still it would not burst.

They bled my nose, they cut my eye,
half conscious in the street I heard,
'Give up, give up your red balloon’.
I don't know exactly why.

Father, bolt the door, turn the key,
lest those sad, brash boys return
to insult my faith and steal
my red balloon from me.

 

 

 

Balonul rosu

Zbura peste orasu-uimit
Peste capele, peste cosuri
Purtat de vant peste cladiri
Pana s-a prabusit.

Ciudat, la mine-a coborat
Si-al meu, cum stim, e ce-am gasit
Sufland pe el l-am sters si iata
Ca sangele-a lucit.

Rusinea mea si bucuria,
Cu totii ma stiau acum
Dar au venit baietii rai
Si dusa-I jucaria.

Si-n Cardiff fetele-oftau tare
Cand balonasul meu cel rosu
Suia mai sus decat o fericire
In albastria zare.

De noua luni ma tot mandresc
Cu-odorul meu de pret
Dar n-am curaj sa-l mai arat
Oricat toti jura ca-l iubesc.

Si cel mai bun amic al meu
Mi-a spus: Balonu-i de evreu
Patat cu sange sfant. Si, “da,”
I-am spus, “nu neg ca sunt evreu.”

“Si ce-i cu asta?”-ntreb surprins
Ce cauta religia aici?
“Balonul tau e evreiesc,
Sa-l dam la circumcis.”

Si unii-au ras, altii-au urlat
Din teaca au scos chiar un cutit
Altii-au sarit, au dat sa-l zgarie,
Dar el tot n-a pleznit.

M-au sangerat, invinetit
Si, lesinat cum stam in strada,
I-am auzit: “Renunta la balon.”
De ce, tot n-am ghicit.

Tata, suceste cheia-n broasca,
Ca vin baietii rai, marlani,
Credinta sa mi-o terfeleasca
Balonul rosu sa-mi rapeasca.


Translated by Nadina Visan

 

Red Balloon

It sailed across the startled town,
over chapels, over chimney-pots,
wind-blown above a block of flats
before it floated down.

Oddly, it landed where I stood,
and finding's keeping, as you know.
I breathed on it, I polished it,
till it shone like living blood.

It was my shame, it was my joy,
it brought me notoriety.
From all of Wales the rude boys came,
it ceased to be a toy.

I heard the girls of Cardiff sigh
when my balloon, my red balloon,
soared higher like a happiness
towards the dark blue sky.

Nine months since, have I boasted of
my unique, my only precious;
but to no one dare I show it now
however long they swear their love.

'It's a Jew's balloon,' my best friend cried
'stained with our dear Lord's blood.’
‘That I'm a Jew is true,' I said,
said I, 'that cannot be denied.'

'What relevance?' I asked, surprised,
'what's religion to do with this?'
'Your red balloon's a Jew's balloon,
let's get it circumcised.'

Then some boys laughed and some boys cursed,
some unsheathed their dirty knives;
some lunged, some clawed at my balloon,
but still it would not burst.

They bled my nose, they cut my eye,
half conscious in the street I heard,
'Give up, give up your red balloon’.
I don't know exactly why.

Father, bolt the door, turn the key,
lest those sad, brash boys return
to insult my faith and steal
my red balloon from me.


Balonul rosu

Vaslea-n vazduhul targului uimit
cu cosnite si turle, si impins
de vant deasupra unui bloc
pana a poposit.

Si ce-am gasit al meu sa fie
cand, ce ciudat, in mana-mi a facut popas
l-am curatat, l-am lustruit
pe teasta-i lucie sangerie.

Era rusinea-mi si-ncantare de noroc
cu totii ma stiau.
Din tot tinutul se-mbulzeau baietii
si n-a mai fost doar joc.

Caci fiecare fata suspina
dupa balonul, roscovanul meu balon
cand ca o fericire spre azuru-nchis
el se-nalta.

De noua luni incoace m-am mandrit
cu unicul, nepretuitul;
dar nu cutez acum sa-l arat nimanui
oricat i-ar fi amorul de vadit.

‘Balonul de-ovreu’ prietenu-mi zbiera
‘patat cu sange de Mantuitor’
‘Ca sunt ovreu i-adevarat’ i-am spus
zis-am ‘e lucru fara de tagada.’

‘Ce importanta?’ l-intrebai mirat
‘ce-are religia-a face?’
‘Balonu-ti rosu e balon de-ovreu
si trebuie imprejur taiat.’

Apoi unii baieti au ras, iar altii-au suduit
altii si-au scos cutitele murdare;
s-au repezit sa-mi zgarie basica
dar n-a pocnit.

Crestatu-mi-au un ochi si nasul bleg
Si mort pe jumatate-i auzeam
‘Preda, preda odata rosul tau balon’
de ce, tot nu-nteleg.

Zavoara, tata, usa,-ntoarce cheia-n ea
sa nu se-ntoarca baietanii tristi si rai
sa-mi injoseasc-a mea credinta si
balonul sa mi-l ia.

Translated by Ileana Grama

 

 

Red Balloon

It sailed across the startled town,
over chapels, over chimney-pots,
wind-blown above a block of flats
before it floated down.

Oddly, it landed where I stood,
and finding's keeping, as you know.
I breathed on it, I polished it,
till it shone like living blood.

It was my shame, it was my joy,
it brought me notoriety.
From all of Wales the rude boys came,
it ceased to be a toy.

I heard the girls of Cardiff sigh
when my balloon, my red balloon,
soared higher like a happiness
towards the dark blue sky.

Nine months since, have I boasted of
my unique, my only precious;
but to no one dare I show it now
however long they swear their love.

'It's a Jew's balloon,' my best friend cried
'stained with our dear Lord's blood.’
‘That I'm a Jew is true,' I said,
said I, 'that cannot be denied.'

'What relevance?' I asked, surprised,
'what's religion to do with this?'
'Your red balloon's a Jew's balloon,
let's get it circumcised.'

Then some boys laughed and some boys cursed,
some unsheathed their dirty knives;
some lunged, some clawed at my balloon,
but still it would not burst.

They bled my nose, they cut my eye,
half conscious in the street I heard,
'Give up, give up your red balloon’.
I don't know exactly why.

Father, bolt the door, turn the key,
lest those sad, brash boys return
to insult my faith and steal
my red balloon from me.

 

 

 

 


Balonul rosu

A navigat peste-un oras nedumerit
Peste capele, peste cosuri de pe case,
Purtat de vant deasupra unui bloc
In jos pe urma a plutit.

Straniu, unde stateam a coborat din zbor
Si pentru ca a fost gasit de mine l-am pastrat
L-am aburit, l-am lustruit pana-a ajuns,
De sange viu stralucitor.

Rusine mi-aducea si bucurie
Imi aducea si faima deopotriva
De peste tot veneau baieti galezi nerusinati
Nu mai era o jucarie.

Suspinul fetelor din Cardiff se-auzea
Si insotea balonul meu, balonul meu cel rosu
Cand ca o fericire plutea din ce in ce mai sus
Spre cerul negru se-ndrepta.

Si noua luni intregi mereu m-am laudat
Cu pretiosul meu odor, comoara mea
Dar nu mai indraznesc acum sa il arat nici celor care
Iubire lunga au jurat.

E-un balon de evreu, cel mai bun prieten al meu a strigat
Cu singele Domnului Dumnezeu patat
Am spus “Ca sunt evreu i-adevarat”
Spus-am, “Nu poate fi negat”

“Si ce-i cu asta?”, am intrebat surprins
Ce legatura-are religia cu asta?”
“ Fiindca balonul tau rosu e de evreu
Atunci sa fie circumscris!”

Unii baieti au ris, altii au injurat
Unii si-au scos din teaca cutitele murdare;
Unii au sarit, altii cu ghearele-au impuns balonul
Balonul tot nu a crapat.

Ochii mi i-au invinetit, nasul mi-au spart
Zacand pe strada-am auzit
“Renunta, renunta la balonul rosu”
De ce - nici azi nu am aflat.

Tata inchide bine usa, cu zavoare
Sa nu se intoarca baietii jalnici si neobrazati
Credinta sa-mi batjocoreasca,
Balonul rosu sa mi-l fure.

Translated by Ruxandra Visan

 

Red Balloon

It sailed across the startled town,
over chapels, over chimney-pots,
wind-blown above a block of flats
before it floated down.

Oddly, it landed where I stood,
and finding's keeping, as you know.
I breathed on it, I polished it,
till it shone like living blood.

It was my shame, it was my joy,
it brought me notoriety.
From all of Wales the rude boys came,
it ceased to be a toy.

I heard the girls of Cardiff sigh
when my balloon, my red balloon,
soared higher like a happiness
towards the dark blue sky.

Nine months since, have I boasted of
my unique, my only precious;
but to no one dare I show it now
however long they swear their love.

'It's a Jew's balloon,' my best friend cried
'stained with our dear Lord's blood.’
‘That I'm a Jew is true,' I said,
said I, 'that cannot be denied.'

'What relevance?' I asked, surprised,
'what's religion to do with this?'
'Your red balloon's a Jew's balloon,
let's get it circumcised.'

Then some boys laughed and some boys cursed,
some unsheathed their dirty knives;
some lunged, some clawed at my balloon,
but still it would not burst.

They bled my nose, they cut my eye,
half conscious in the street I heard,
'Give up, give up your red balloon’.
I don't know exactly why.

Father, bolt the door, turn the key,
lest those sad, brash boys return
to insult my faith and steal
my red balloon from me.

 

 

 

Balonul rosu

A traversat orasul rascolit,
peste turle si hornuri de fum,
l-a purtat vantul deasupra unui bloc
pana ca-n jos sa fi plutit.

Ciudat s-aterizeze unde il puteam ajunge,
dar – vorba vine – ce-am gasit al meu sa fie.
Am suflat pe el, l-am lustruit
pan-a lucit a cel mai rosu sange.

Era rusinea mea, mi-era si bucurie,
asa am ajuns sa ma cunoasca lumea.
Golani din toata Tara Galilor venira,
deja inceta sa mai fie o jucarie.

Le-auzeam pe fetele din Cardiff cum ofteaza
cand balonul, balonul meu cel rosu,
atat de inalt precum o fericire
parea spre ceru-ntunecat ca-nainteaza.

Noua luni n-am contenit a ma fali
cu-al meu unicat, nepretuit obiect;
ins-acum nu cutez nimanui sa-l arat
oricat de mult dragostea si-ar rosti.

„E balon de-ovrei”, striga prietenu-mi cel bun,
„murdar de sangele Mantuitorului nostru.”
„Ca sunt evreu e-adevarat”, am zis,
„Cu neputinta <nu> sa spun.”

„Ce importanta?” am intrebat surprins,
„ce treaba poate-avea religia cu asta?”
„Balonul rosu-al tau e de ovrei,
sa-l facem circumcis.”

Atunci au ras in hohote baieti, au si hulit,
unii-au scos din teci cutitele murdare;
altii vociferau sau se-nclestau in balonul meu,
dar, de spart, sa-l sparga nu au reusit.

Mi-au scos ochiul, sangele curgea din nas,
auzeam pe strada, jumatate in simtiri,
„Lasa-ti balonul rosu, lasa-l odata.”
Motivele tot in ceata mi-au ramas.

Tata, zavoraste usa, incuie cu cheia bine
sa nu se-ntoarca obraznicii nefericiti
credinta sa-mi ponegreasca si sa fure
balonul cel rosu de la mine.

Translated by Veronica Bala

 

 

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