gedenkt nicht grundlos, nicht anders, / ebenso deiner, ebenso meiner.

English translation: erster Versuch

15:43 Oct 7, 2004
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Poetry
German term or phrase: gedenkt nicht grundlos, nicht anders, / ebenso deiner, ebenso meiner.
Hi,
I'm translating some poems by the contemporary German poet Wulf Kirsten. This is from a - for Kirsten- remarkably straightforward poem about a flock
of starlings, Starenwolke, whose amazing movements he watches. But the end (above) is so concise that I am a little confused.

He has finished describing the flock's acrobatic flight, and talks of transience (die vergaenglichkeit), that die vergaenglichkeit, eloquent in the fleeting images the flock makes,:
'gedenkt nicht grundlos, nicht anders,
ebenso deiner, ebenso meiner. '

It all revolves around the word 'gedenken', and I'm not sure if both meanings of the word are implied (to commemorate, and to intend to do something).

I wondered about mixing both meanings:
not aimless, nor intending elsewise,
remembering you, remembering me.

I realise this might be too hard without the whole German poem in front of you - or the rest of my English translation. But, who knows . . .Thanks!
Stefan Tobler (X)
Local time: 10:24
English translation:erster Versuch
Explanation:
'gedenkt nicht grundlos, nicht anders,
ebenso deiner, ebenso meiner. '

transience
mindful not by chance, not discerning
between me and you


while ‘mindful’ captures the intellectual act of ‘re-minding’ us of our own mortality, it also contains the element of respect and honor, both forming integral parts of ‘gedenken’

transience reminds us of our own ('me and you') human mortality
transience also honors and respects that mortality by confronting us –in the image of fleeting times/flocks- with the beauty of life

(Höre ich da Anklänge an Gryphius?;0)
Selected response from:

Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 02:24
Grading comment
Great! 'mindful' is the perfect word- here's how I've fashioned it from your suggestion:

.............., transience
sketching eloquent tableaus,
not aimless, not by chance, but mindful,
as of you, as of me.

(as of - because it is mindful of ...)

Thanks so much, that really helped.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
2 +1erster Versuch
Johanna Timm, PhD


  

Answers


48 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
erster Versuch


Explanation:
'gedenkt nicht grundlos, nicht anders,
ebenso deiner, ebenso meiner. '

transience
mindful not by chance, not discerning
between me and you


while ‘mindful’ captures the intellectual act of ‘re-minding’ us of our own mortality, it also contains the element of respect and honor, both forming integral parts of ‘gedenken’

transience reminds us of our own ('me and you') human mortality
transience also honors and respects that mortality by confronting us –in the image of fleeting times/flocks- with the beauty of life

(Höre ich da Anklänge an Gryphius?;0)


Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 02:24
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 69
Grading comment
Great! 'mindful' is the perfect word- here's how I've fashioned it from your suggestion:

.............., transience
sketching eloquent tableaus,
not aimless, not by chance, but mindful,
as of you, as of me.

(as of - because it is mindful of ...)

Thanks so much, that really helped.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deborah Shannon: nice suggestion and explanation - helped unpoetic me to understand the question :-)
1 hr
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