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..Ihn die eigene Schwere wieder ablöst...

English translation: My attempt

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02:50 May 28, 2003
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
German term or phrase: ..Ihn die eigene Schwere wieder ablöst...
Poem by Friedrich Hebbel
....
Und dann mag er mit dem All sich mischen,
Bis, verstärkt in langer Ruhepause,
Ihn **die eigne Schwere wieder ablöst
Und ihm das Tor zum Dasein aufsprengt.

Also bet ich, weil ich schmerzlich wünsche,
Daß für mich, als ich geboren wurde,
So ein edler Mensch gebetet hätte.

That's the end of the poem.
Translation was extremely difficult, but I want to leave on a good note. TIA for your creative ideas, and again, no refs needed.
Fantutti
Local time: 15:45
English translation:My attempt
Explanation:
With credit going to Christiane for an explanation of ablösen.

And then he'd like to become one with the universe
Until, his strength regained from a long rest,
His own weight releases him again
And opens up the gate to existence.

So I pray because my aching wish is
That such a noble person had prayed for me
When I was born
Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 17:45
Grading comment
Thank you so very much, Kim, Christiane, William and Robert, for your ideas, information and discussion! I chose Kim's version, because it seems to be encompassing all of it.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2until his [the youth's, resp, the child's] own weight redeems himxxxAnglo-German
4 +2his own weight liberates him
William Stein
3 +1My attempt
Kim Metzger
4 -1weight of his mortal existence is burned away
Robert Schlarb


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
until his [the youth's, resp, the child's] own weight redeems him


Explanation:
ablösen hier = erlösen

It was a bit confusing, at first I thought it was the weight of the pain in the wanderers chest ...

Teile des Gedichts sind übrigens in englischer Ü im Netz (und gemeinfrei, da der Dichter seit über 70 Jahren tot ist.)

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Note added at 2003-05-28 03:16:24 (GMT)
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Korrektur: wanderer\'s chest

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Note added at 2003-05-28 03:32:58 (GMT)
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Slight correction to Kim\'s \"opens up the gate\" - it\'s actually gate-crashing - thanks, no doubt, to this \"regained\" heaviness/weight.

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Note added at 2003-05-28 16:27:20 (GMT)
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Vielleicht ist mit der eigenen Schwere auch \"Erdenschwere\" gemeint, die er wiedergewinnt, nachdem ihn der \"der entgegen gesandte Edelste\" aus dem \"Bann gelöst hat\" - has broken the spell. Vorher schwebte er offenbar \"in höheren Sphären\" und hatte keinen Bezug zur Realität mehr.

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Note added at 2003-05-28 18:57:02 (GMT)
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@Robert: Die von dir angeführten Werke sind mir durchaus nicht unbekannt, denn ich habe mich eingehend damit befasst. (Dass Calvin einen englischen Vornamen trug, war mir allerdings neu.) Ich sehe nur _in diesem Gedicht_ einfach den von dir hergestellten Bezug nicht. Ich mag mich irren. Entweder du hast Recht oder es ist eine Überinterpretation. Wenn du mit \"Feuer\" das meinst, was in der Brust zurückgehalten wird, dann verbrennt es doch nicht die sterbliche Hülle? Das Bild ist für mich nicht schlüssig - ganz unabhängig von der Tradition des gesamten abendländischen Gedankenguts. Mir ist noch nicht ganz klar, was uns der Dichter hier sagen wollte. Es kann so etwas wie \"per aspera ad astra sein\", muss aber nicht.

xxxAnglo-German
Germany
Local time: 00:45
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 203

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: So many ways to deal with ablösen and who's doing what to whom.
23 mins
  -> Te et me absolvo ...

agree  JózsefÁrpád Bende
8 hrs
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33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
My attempt


Explanation:
With credit going to Christiane for an explanation of ablösen.

And then he'd like to become one with the universe
Until, his strength regained from a long rest,
His own weight releases him again
And opens up the gate to existence.

So I pray because my aching wish is
That such a noble person had prayed for me
When I was born


Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 17:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 21825
Grading comment
Thank you so very much, Kim, Christiane, William and Robert, for your ideas, information and discussion! I chose Kim's version, because it seems to be encompassing all of it.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxAnglo-German: And isn't it strange that the weight doesn't "weigh heavy on him"? But rather sets him free from his pain?
7 mins
  -> There must be a philosophical concept here that I don't really understand. In a way it reminds me of Rilke. I love his poetry but have a hard time understanding everything. O, Brunnen Mund.
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
his own weight liberates him


Explanation:
I think he's losing his sense of self in a sort of death-like trance. In this state of merger with the universe, being everything, he has no "da sein", which is the state of the individual ("being there"). When he "comes down", his own weight or sense of self and desire opens the gates of individual being (das Tor des Daseins) and he regains his individual existence.

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 16:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1734

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  ezbounty@aol.co
15 mins

agree  Ron Stelter
1 day14 hrs
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
weight of his mortal existence is burned away


Explanation:
At the risk of appearing heretical, I would like to dare a farther-reaching variation.
The allusion seems to be to the Neo-Platonist notion, building heavily on Aristotelianism, of the body as a husk or vessel to be cast or worked off in the course of life through the process of moral purification (or smelting) and with the goal of reuniting the individual soul with the universal soul (Allseele).
Thus, ablösen, in aluding to erlösen, recalls not only the Christian concept of redemption, but much more the "pagan" concept of purification as outlined above. This is alluded to in particular by the fire burning in the subject's breast.

The weight of his mortal existence is melted (burned) away,
opening the gate to true life.

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Note added at 2003-05-28 17:55:11 (GMT)
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Christiane:

Denn die Kraft, die eine Welt beleben
Oder eine Welt bejüngen könnte,
Wird in seiner Brust zurückgehalten,
Langsam, aber sicher, ihn verzehren...

True, fire is not mentioned explicitly as being the energy/force/power held back in his breast, but there are countless allusions in antiquity and subsequently among romantic authors and poets to fire -- as one of the elemental forces of nature -- as a symbol for the lifeforce sustaining the individual on into eternity:

Greift Ihr dann
Nach meiner Hand, so lach\' ich, doch nicht laut,
Und sing\' von ihren Augen Euch ein Lied,
Und sing\' so lange, bis Ihr sprecht: Du Schelm,
Meinst du, das Feuer brennt nicht hell genug?
(F. Hebbel, Genoveva 1. Akte)

As to your other remark, that you can detect nothing \"pagan\" -- please note here the apostrophes as I had originally placed them -- I would suggest you take a closer look at the history of Western thought, beginning with Aristotle, progressing on through Plotin and Philo of Alexandria, not forgetting Origen of Alexandria, passing over the North Africans Tertullian of Carthage and Augustine of Hippo, taking in the great scholars of the Middle Ages, among them Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas, and then examing how the thinking of the former later affected Catholic thinkers such as Ignace of Loyola and Protestant scholars such as John Calvin, Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon alike, not neglecting the tradition of German mysticism, foundational for both Protestant and Catholic mysticism, found in authors such as Jakob Boehme and Meister Eckhardt.
Upon completion of this task it would be further instructive to examine how the Arabic reception of Aristotle left a lasting impression on the Christian philosophical tradition, leaving traces still evident among the German idealists of the 19th century (i.e. Hegel, Schelling, Fichte), and even found its way indirectly into the secular ideology of Marxism.
When you are finished we can discuss this further.

Robert Schlarb
Local time: 00:45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 1034

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  xxxAnglo-German: I can detect nothing pagan in this poem - on the contrary. And where is "the fire burning in teh subject's breast"? No mention of it anywhere.
3 hrs
  -> Please see note above
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