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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

They Must Modify Your Life-Span

  Those looking for a catch-all resolution for the New Year would do well to remember the last words of Rilke's 'Archaic Torso of Apollo': "Du musst dein Leben √§ndern" - usually rendered by translators as "You must change your life".
    I warm, however, to the mangled version I have used as my post-title, from a Google Translate Englishing of the poem which sounds as though Sheldon from Big Bang Theory has had a hand in it. It was to appear in an apocryphal collection called Robot Rilke which was announced in 2010 but seems not to have seen the light of day:

Apollo’s Antiquated Box
 
We did not know its dishonorable title,
the matured apples of the eye. But its box
always turns red such as candelabras,
in that its looking, only back-screwed,

holds themselves and shines. Otherwise the nose
of the cable you could not shine, and in the calm
rotation lumbar could not go a smile
in this center, which carried the generation.

Otherwise this stone one disfigured and one continued
briefly under the transparent case of the shoulders
and not like animal skins of the unstable flight;

and not all on his board like an asterisk
would break: because there is no workstation
it does not see you. They must modify your life span.
 

  I found the link to this on Robert Sheppard's blog called Pages, in a fascinating post on translating Petrarch. Pages now joins my Bloglist: http://www.robertsheppard.blogspot.co.uk/
   And if your thoughts are turning to spending your last few quid in the post-Christmas sales, there are bargains to be had over at the Penned in the Margins website, where all books are 20% off, including Human Form for a paltry £7.19: http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/index.php/2013/02/human-form/



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