KudoZ home » German to English » Art/Literary

Wenn ein Glied zum andern betet...

English translation: element

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
02:55 Dec 11, 2003
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
German term or phrase: Wenn ein Glied zum andern betet...
By Moshe Waldmann

Weh

Weh,
Weh ist ein Lied. Das schönste Lied vom Leid,
der tiefste Gesang in sich -
wie das Gebet eines Vogels
am Morgen,
das keiner versteht,
wie das stille Lispeln des Flusses
am Abend,
das keiner hört.

Weh ist ein Lied.
Und was ist Leid?
**Wenn ein Glied zum andern betet**
und alles herum,
der Mensch und das Gras, beugt den Kopf
und horcht sich ein.

What is 'Glied' in this context? A part of nature?

TIA for your ideas!!!
Fantutti
Local time: 11:34
English translation:element
Explanation:
The nice thing about Glied is its ambiguity - all kinds of associations/meanings - organ, member, link, element.

Pain is a song.
And what is sorrow?
If one element prays to the other
and everything about,
humans and the grass, bow their head
and listen to perceive.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 39 mins (2003-12-11 04:34:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

bow their heads
and listen to apprehend
and listen to descry
and listen to know
and listen to grasp
Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 13:34
Grading comment
Thank you, Kim, Maureen (for your wonderful input!), Gareth, Textklick and Robert. I was desperately looking for the perfect word for 'Glied' in this context. I'm not 100% happy with 'element', but, imo, it comes closest and doesn't sound that odd. At any rate, time is running out for me. Thanks again, everybody!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +1limb
Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.
4 +1generation
Textklick
4member
Robert Schlarb
3 +1element
Kim Metzger
2spirit
Gareth McMillan


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


47 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
element


Explanation:
The nice thing about Glied is its ambiguity - all kinds of associations/meanings - organ, member, link, element.

Pain is a song.
And what is sorrow?
If one element prays to the other
and everything about,
humans and the grass, bow their head
and listen to perceive.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 39 mins (2003-12-11 04:34:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

bow their heads
and listen to apprehend
and listen to descry
and listen to know
and listen to grasp

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 13:34
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 21840
Grading comment
Thank you, Kim, Maureen (for your wonderful input!), Gareth, Textklick and Robert. I was desperately looking for the perfect word for 'Glied' in this context. I'm not 100% happy with 'element', but, imo, it comes closest and doesn't sound that odd. At any rate, time is running out for me. Thanks again, everybody!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gareth McMillan: Get's right to the sense of it.
4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
spirit


Explanation:
For me "Glied" is the notion of the independent parts of the whole. I don't know how to put this into English without taking a lot of licence, but if you can believe that each independent "spirit" is a part of the greater spirit and that praying is a calling together in the sharing and understanding of pain, then it might just work.

Proof, if it were ever needed, that German IS the language of poets, (it certainly isn't the language of engineers!)

I'm not going to attempt to follow Kim with a translation- he's far too good at this kind of thing.

Gareth McMillan
Local time: 20:34
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 793
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
member


Explanation:
I am surprised no one has mentioned it up to now.
In antiquity (and I believe the author here is alluding to images from Judaeo-Christian) heritage, the cosmos was thought of as one great body (soma is the Greek word) with each member attuned to the others.
The apostle Paul uses this image in the New Testament (1 Cor 12) to refer to the church (equating the fledgling Christian church as the "body of Christ" with the cosmos!) and stating "if one member suffers, all suffer with it" ("wenn ein Glied leidet, alle leiden mit").
It would appear then that the author above is alluding to the language of Paul in this context (Leid, Glied), comparing nature to a body whose members are bound to each other in the experience of suffering pain.


    1 Cor 12:12-30
Robert Schlarb
Local time: 20:34
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 1034
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
generation


Explanation:
According to little Langenscheidt, this is a biblical meaning for "Glied"

Sounds feasible in the context?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs 42 mins (2003-12-11 09:37:18 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Genesis 50, 22: So wohnte Josef in Ägypten mit seines Vaters Hause und lebte hundertundzehn Jahre 23und sah Ephraims Kinder bis ins dritte Glied.

Textklick
Local time: 19:34
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 1097

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gareth McMillan: Might have something here- who wrote it, (Peter) Gabriel?
13 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
limb


Explanation:
multilevel meaning, but the interconnection is key...

when limbs pray each to each
and everything about,
the man, the grass, inclines its head
and hearkens deep.

["mermaids singing each to each" - "Prufrock", T.S. Eliot]



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs 7 mins (2003-12-11 05:02:45 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

On the other question \"s. einhorchen\", I also suggested \"hearkens as one.\"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 hrs 7 mins (2003-12-11 16:02:24 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Have just read the note and seen you need something complete for tonight already, so ...


Woe,
woe is a song, the most lovely song of suffering,
the deepest singing in oneself--
as a bird prays
at morning,
understood by none,
as the river lisps
at evening,
overheard by none.

Woe is a song.
And what is suffering?
When limbs pray each to each
and everything about,
the man, the grass, bows its head
and hearkens as one.


Maureen Holm, J.D., LL.M.
United States
Local time: 14:34
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 986

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gareth McMillan: Like the "hearken's as one". ADD: I think this works! But would suggest: "the man and the grass bow "their" heads and hearken as one"?
2 hrs
  -> thanks, but the singular refers to "everything"
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search