Lisa’s Literal Translations #2 – Emily Dickinson #294


LiteraryTranslation

What a Literal Translation is: A word-f0r-word translation that swaps words out with literal synonyms

Why a Literal Translation: They help dissect hard-to-understand poems. Most of the time.

Emily Dickinson’s poem #294, the Original:

The Doomed – regard the Sunrise
With different Delight –
Because – when next it burns abroad
They doubt to witness it –

The Man – to die – tomorrow –
Harks for the Meadow Bird –
Because its Music stirs the Axe
That clamors for his head –

Joyful – to whom the Sunrise
Precedes Enamored – Day
Joyful – for whom the Meadow Bird
Has ought but Elegy!

*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*

Lisa’s Literal Translation:

The Condemned – look at the Emerging of the Sun
With altering Happiness –
Because – the time soonest again it fires far away
They question to see it –

The Male Person – to expire – the day after today –
Listens for the Field Small Winged And Beaked Animal –
For The Reason That its Song moves the Bladed Hammer
That calls for his uppermost appendage –

Ecstatic – to whom the Lifting of the Sun
Comes Before Love-Smacked – AM
Ecstatic – for whom the Field Small Winged And Beaked Animal
Holds nothing but Lament for the Dead!

*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*

This poem implies that even someone on death row might be looking forward to the new day (their death day). I’m guessing because death means freedom. I chose a Dickinson poem at random, because I just love her, even if her poems are a bit hard to understand sometimes.

If you have a poem you’d like to see me translate literally, just let me know!

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