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A verse

English translation: One solution

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08:52 Dec 3, 2004
Russian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / poetry
Russian term or phrase: A verse
Dear natives! Could you please check my translation of the following verse and give your comments.

Ты раскройся, Красный Мак
Покажи мне Мир весь так,
Чтобы я могла понять,
Где причину мне искать.

Oh Red Poppy, open thee,
All the World I wish to see,
There is much to be explained,
May I have thy answer gained?

First of all, this one is from a Children's book.
There is a sorceress named She-Who-Tells-Fortune and she has this magic Red Poppy. She is addressing it to find out what is meant for the land in the nearest future.
Is my translation OK or are there any weak parts which I don't see? With respect to the register, and all?

Lots of upfront thanks!
Andrew Vdovin
Local time: 17:33
English translation:One solution
Explanation:
How about this...

Oh, Red Poppy open wide
And let me see the world inside.
Grant that I may recognize
Where the hidden answer lies



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Note added at 15 hrs 24 mins (2004-12-04 00:16:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Corrected:

O Red Poppy, open wide.
Let me see the world inside.
Grant that I may recognize
Where the hiden answer lies.
Selected response from:

xxxJoeYeckley
Grading comment
Thank you Joe! A great version! You are a much greater poet than me! :-j
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +4Here's my attempt
Jack Doughty
3 +4One solutionxxxJoeYeckley
5four lines below
Alina Mamlyuk


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Here's my attempt


Explanation:
Poppy, open up to me.
All the world I wish to see.
So that I can tell from you
Where to find the reason true.

Your version is pretty good. But note that the vocative "O" does not have an "h", so it should be "O Red Poppy..."
"Open thee" sounds a bit odd, as we don't use the straight accusative form like this. It would either be just "Open!" or "Open thyself", But "Open thee" might still be considered justifiable poetic licence.
I also got rid of "thee", but not because I don't think children would understand it, this form of speech is used a lot in fairy tales. It just happened to work out that way.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:33
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 605

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxJoeYeckley
4 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Alexander Onishko: 3rd line - maybe - "So that I knew from you " ? - is it grammatically correct ?
32 mins
  -> It wouldn't be the past tense here, and in that form it wouldn't scan either. 2"So that I can know from you" would be OK but I think "So that I can learn from you" would be better.

agree  Mikhail Kropotov: invading the native speakers' ground again! i like yours, too
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Blithe: also very nice
6 hrs
  -> Thank you.
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
four lines below


Explanation:
Oh, Red Poppy, open up,
Show the World in your big cup,
For I want to know and see
The one answer hid from me.

I basically got rid of "thee," "thy" and "gained" because I think it's a little too high-brow for children. And I couldn't just resist translating the whole four lines...they're too much fun! And, by the way, can we read the story once you're through with it? Looks interesting from all the things you've posted so far and children's lit (fairy stories, poems, etc.) are my favorite.

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Note added at 1 hr 0 min (2004-12-03 09:53:21 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Also, I was thinking, in a way, of the three Macbeth witches and the simple, mainly monosyllabic language they use to keep the rhythm almost trance-like in their exchanges.

http://www-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/macbeth/macbeth.1.1.html

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Note added at 1 hr 41 mins (2004-12-03 10:33:44 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here\'s two alternative last lines

O, Red Poppy, open up,
Show the World in your big cup,
So that I can figure out
Where the answer lies about.


Alina Mamlyuk
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lale: the first two lines are perfect!
12 mins
  -> thank you, Lale

disagree  Andrei Patrikeyev: I don't think children need to the kept ignorant as far as language history is concerned. They like mystery, something they do not quite understand, and archaic words are all right here. The last two lines, though, should be more compact and logical.
14 mins
  -> You're right, but, technically, if we're to keep kids from being ignorant about archaic words, we need to use those words correctly. "Open thee" isn't grammatically sound because "thee" here needs to be used in a reflexive form, as Jack had indicated
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31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
One solution


Explanation:
How about this...

Oh, Red Poppy open wide
And let me see the world inside.
Grant that I may recognize
Where the hidden answer lies



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 hrs 24 mins (2004-12-04 00:16:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Corrected:

O Red Poppy, open wide.
Let me see the world inside.
Grant that I may recognize
Where the hiden answer lies.

xxxJoeYeckley
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 83
Grading comment
Thank you Joe! A great version! You are a much greater poet than me! :-j

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Alina Mamlyuk: The "And" in the second line throws off the rhythm pattern. Without it, sounds good.
4 mins
  -> Agreed.

agree  danya: loovely + Alina's comments
35 mins
  -> Thanks.

agree  Mikhail Kropotov: nice!
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Jack Doughty: Also with Alina's comment.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks.

agree  Blithe: very nice
6 hrs
  -> Thanks.
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