W.H. Auden → Γ. Χ. Ώντεν

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Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973, pronounced /ˈwɪstən ˈhjuː ˈɔːdən/) who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone, form and content. The central themes of his poetry are love, politics and citizenship, religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the anonymous, impersonal world of nature.

Poems published in Translatum:
- The More Loving One (If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me)
- September 1, 1939, We must love one another or die
- As I Walked Out One Evening
- On the Circuit
- O Tell Me The Truth About Love
- Funeral Blues W. H. Auden | Πένθιμο μπλουζ, Γ. Χ. Ώντεν, μετάφραση: Ερρίκος Σοφράς

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« Last Edit: 04 May, 2021, 21:36:23 by spiros »


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The More Loving One
W.H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
« Last Edit: 04 May, 2021, 21:35:11 by spiros »


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W.H. Auden, O Tell Me The Truth About Love

     Some say that love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn't over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn't in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my shoes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.


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Musée des Beaux Arts
W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Musée des Beaux Arts
W. H. Auden

Ποτέ δεν κάναν λάθος για τον πόνο
Οι Παλιοί Δασκάλοι· πόσο κατάλαβαν τη θέση του
Στην ανθρώπινη ζωή· πώς φτάνει και μας βρίσκει
Την ώρα που ο άλλος τρώει ή ανοίγει ένα παράθυρο ή έστω περπατάει βαριεστημένα·
Πώς, όταν οι γέροντες προσμένουν, μ' ευλάβεια και πάθος,
Το θαύμα της Γέννησης, πρέπει πάντα να υπάρχουν παιδιά
Που δεν το πολυθέλουν να συμβεί, και γλιστρούν με παγοπέδιλα
Σε μια λιμνούλα στην άκρη του δάσους.
Ποτέ αυτοί δε λησμόνησαν
Ότι και το πιο φριχτό μαρτύριο πρέπει να συντελεστεί
Με κάποιο τρόπο, σε μια γωνιά, σ' έναν τόπο λερό
Εκεί που ο σκύλος ζει τη σκυλίσια ζωή του και τ' άλογο του βασανιστή
Ξύνει τ' αθώα του καπούλια σ' ένα δέντρο.
Στον Ίκαρο του Μπρέγκελ, λόγου χάρη: πώς καθετί
Γυρίζει αμέριμνα την πλάτη στην καταστροφή·
Μπορεί ο ζευγολάτης να τον άκουσε τον παφλασμό,
Την έρημη κραυγή, μα δεν ήταν γι' αυτόν κακό μεγάλο·
Ο ήλιος έλαμπε, έτσι όπως έπρεπε, πάνω στ' άσπρα πόδια
Που χάνονταν στο πράσινο νερό·
Και το λεπτοφτιαγμένο ακριβό καράβι,
Που σίγουρα είδε κάτι εκπληκτικό, ένα παιδί να πέφτει απ' τον αιθέρα,
Είχε να πάει σε κάποιο προορισμό, και ήσυχα αρμένισε πέρα.

Μετάφραση: Eρρίκος Σοφράς

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus - Wikipedia

Musée des Beaux Arts (poem)
« Last Edit: 07 Feb, 2023, 13:00:54 by spiros »


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