Monday, 5 November 2012
Playing with the big boys
This doesn’t in fact mean I won one of the three prizes announced on Saturday, nor even achieved one of the six further ‘Commended’ places, but, nevertheless, it is just possibly a comment to which I may return in my own mind from time to time.
The organiser very kindly sent me an e-mail a short while ago to alert me to the fact that I was to be what I now think of as ‘a runner-up to the runners-up’ and to invite me to the Prize event in London tomorrow, which sadly I can’t make.
I’ve posted four of the poems here last year, one on 11th September and three more on 29th December.
One of the others is a strange little piece with possibly onomatopoeic noises to represent the incomprehensibility as well as the shivering of a servant girl whose need Earl Rognvald unconvincingly credits himself alone with grasping.
Professor Judith Jesch's critical edition gives a literal translation
You are sitting round the fire, while Asa – atatata! – is lying in the water – hutututu! Where shall I sit? I am rather cold
and the Penguin Classic version (possibly based on a slightly different original scholarly text) is
You sit steaming, but Asa’s
s-soaked to the skin;
f-f-far from the fire,
I’m freezing to death.
My version attempts to retain the original sounds in the middle:
Storm soaked and freezing
Asa is pleading
with teeth chat-at-atering
and speech stu-ut-utering
for space by the fire
to get herself warm.