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Le dizain de neige (English translation)

  • Artist: Clément Marot
  • Song: Le dizain de neige
    3 translations
    +2 more
    , Italian #1, #2
  • Translations: English
    +2 more
    , Italian #1, #2
Proofreading requested

Le dizain de neige

Anne, par jeu, me jeta de la neige,
Que je cuidais1 froide certainement ;
Mais c’était feu ; l’expérience en ai-je,
Car embrasé je fus soudainement.
Puisque le feu loge secrètement
Dedans la neige, où trouverai-je place
Pour n’ardre2 point ? Anne, ta seule grâce
Éteindre peut le feu que je sens bien,
Non point par eau, par neige, ni par glace,
Mais par sentir un feu pareil au mien.
  • 1. croyais
  • 2. brûler
English translationEnglish
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Ten lines about snow

Playfully, Anne threw snow at me,
which I had no doubt would be cold.
But it was fire, this I have known
for suddenly I was ablaze.
Since fire dwells hidden inside
the snow, where will I find shelter
from flames? Anne, what but your grace
might quench a fire so keenly felt?
Not with water, snow, nor ice,
but with a fire akin to mine.
thanked 3 times
Submitted by GuestGuest on 2016-07-04
Author's comments:

Conveying the delicacy of this poem is way beyond me.
Still I could not resist the temptation to try.

The author of translation requested proofreading.
It means that he/she will be happy to receive corrections, suggestions etc about the translation.
If you are proficient in both languages of the language pair, you are welcome to leave your comments.
Translations of "Le dizain de neige"
English Guest
GavinGavin    Fri, 30/09/2016 - 10:01

Lovely work! :-)

To add my native nit-picking:
Not sure about the use of "Now" to translate "mais" here - I see where you're going but it's not very natural. I think I would say something like:
"But it was fire I felt/experienced"

Or one could go a little further and say - "It was fire, I still feel its burn". Maybe...although, " l’expérience en ai-je" I think this means he's familiar with how fire feels. So maybe better to say "I've felt it before" or "I know how that feels"

I'm not sure the last sentence fully captures all the meaning of the original. Seems to lose the meaning of "par" - in this case "by" or "through the action of". ie only she can quench his fire by feeling the same fire herself.

Not with water, snow nor ice
But by feeling a fire akin to mine

GavinGavin    Fri, 30/09/2016 - 14:59

Hmmm....I don't love it.
It's tricky - Do you think my interpretation that what is needed is for her to feel the same fire? If so it doesn't seem to catch it.

You can't really use "neither" like that...You could try something like:

Anne, what but your grace
can extinguish a fire so keenly felt?
Not with water, snow, nor ice,
but by feeling the same flame.

It's always going to be a struggle to come close to the original feel though.

GavinGavin    Sun, 02/10/2016 - 08:07

Yes it's good! As you say you've set a near impossible task to preserve all meaning and feel and at the same time keep a consistent metre. Chapeau! :-)

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