Dickinson Cubed: 3 Translations of “My River runs to thee” (Bernstein 6)

the charles bernstein experiments

6. Do multiple translations of a single poem, working in groups or indivdually. See Caroline Bergvall’s poem setting of mutliple translations of the opening of Dante’s Divine Comedy, from PennSound. 

Original:

MY river runs to thee:
Blue sea, wilt welcome me?
My river waits reply.
Oh sea, look graciously!
I ’ll fetch thee brooks        5
From spotted nooks,—
Say, sea,
Take me!
-Emily Dickinson

Translation based on words inspired by individual words of the original poem:

Lie, ocean screams with me:
Opaque ponds, never leave you
His coral shakes, stiff.
How, lead, can boil!
Crawl, sleep through satellites         5
Run flecked streams,—
Stay, love,
Remain free!

Translation wherein I first translated it into French, and then back into English, word by word:

My river flowing against you:
The sea blue, wants me to learn?
My stream waits the response.
Ah, sea, look graciously!
I will, you, go look streams 5
Of recesses, spotted, –
Say, sea,
Take me!

Translation into “Jive” dialect:

MY riva’ runs t’dee:
Blue sea, wilt welcome me?
Mah’ riva’ waits reply. Slap mah fro!
Oh sea, look graciously! Right on!
I ’ll fetch dee brooks        5
From spotted nooks,—
Say, sea,
Snatch me! Right on!

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