Rose, oh reiner Widerspruch: Lust, niemandes Schlaf zu sein unter so viel Lidern. (Rainer Maria Rilke epitaph)

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by julesdesp, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. julesdesp New Member

    near Paris
    Rose, ô reiner Wiedersprach, Lust niemandes Schlaf zu sein unter soviel Lidern.
    The french translations (Betz) give 'contradiction' and 'déni'. I would like to find english words corresponding.
    Idem for 'Lidern', by and between Lieden and Linden, few english words would be welcome, corresponding to 'pétales' or 'paupières' (in deutsch, gens, chansons, tilleuls).
    Thank you.
  2. Demiurg

    Demiurg Senior Member

    It's "Widerspruch" (contradiction), not "Wiedersprach"

    "Lidern" is the dative plural of "Lid" (eye lid / paupière).
  3. julesdesp New Member

    near Paris
    Thank you so much for your answer and the pertinent correction. Don't you think that is right to find a kind of alliterations and denotations around Lidern? Specifically with the german words, near from some homonymie.
  4. Demiurg

    Demiurg Senior Member

    I don't quite understand what you mean with alliterations and why there should be any connection to "Lieder" or" Linden".
    "Viele Lider" in the context of a rose could indeed be a metaphor for "rose petals" (pétales de la rose).

    There's a French poem by Rilke named "Cimetière" that has the same theme:

    Here you find both "pétales" and "paupières".
  5. julesdesp New Member

    near Paris
    I did'nt know this Rilke's french poeme giving an explicit metaphore: pétales/paupières. I appreciate.
    By the way, you could speak french ... better than I write english (rather basic).
    I'm sorry to be a little bit confuse: I would like to associate a formal expression with the crossing of various meanings, a set of german words collected by a quasi homonymie (rather than alliterations) such as those meaning (in french): chanson and tilleul (a famous avenue in Berlin, Unter den Linden), gens and paupières.
    I'm delighted by your conversation, thank you for your help. Two other cimeterys; Chateaubriand (St-Malo): "... naufrage remparé de débris de naufrages ..."; Paul Valéry (Sète): "Ce toit tranquile où marchent les colombes ...".
    Coming back to the Rose ... Stat rosa pristina nomine, Nomina nuda tenemus
  6. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
  7. Demiurg

    Demiurg Senior Member

    I found some background information on Rilke and roses: Reading Rilke.

    Rilke wrote in his diary:
  8. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I see the alliterations in the German vers.
    I agree that a good translation should use alliterations, too, if possible.
    Many translators now tend to make prosa translations to keep the content perfect, but do not consider the rhyme structure.
    This is especially the case if the languages have very different structure.
    In the given case, I think, it were a good idea to use alliterations.

    The English text in http://wonderingminstrels.blogspot.c...Tim Reynolds (translation by Stephen Mitchell)
    omits the alliteration.

    Rose, oh reiner Widerspruch: Lust, niemandes Schlaf zu sein unter so viel Lidern.

    In the given Poem (epitaph) the alliterated words have also the main stress. In both half lines two of the stressed syllables are alliterated.
    "Sleep" and "lids" is almost alliterated.

    I try to show an alliterated version:

    Rose, oh right contradiction, joy of living No-one's sleep, under so many lids.
    This changes slightly the content but keeps alliteration.

    Rose, oh right contradiction, delight of being No-one's sleep, under so many lids.

    (It is not a pure alliteration with "delight" but refects the sound of alliteration.)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  9. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    German is not as prone to homophones as French (Lid and Lied is one of the rare true homophone pairs, i.e. they are neither semantically nor etymologically related but pronounced the same). Hence, we haven't developed so many disambiguation techniques as you have. We generally rely on context.
  10. julesdesp New Member

    near Paris
    Unfortunatly, I don't know how to proceed to copy and send a prepared file Word as an attached piece and I'm not now in the capacity to write yet one page. I will try later. Thank you everybody.
  11. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Don't worry, generations of German literature specialist have tried to decipher these three lines on Rilke's tombstone; to no avail.;)
  12. dmz11 Senior Member

    English - US
  13. julesdesp New Member

    near Paris
    Thank you everybody for sharing yours feelings thoughts and knowledge about the Rilke's epitaph ... reminding that his death was actually due to a blood sifckness, a leukaemia, virtually, only virtually, could have been caused by a sting or a shoot of a rose!
    [1] The quasi homonymie or a kind of an alliteration formed with tyhe letter L of Lust ('joie espiègle': loustique) and Lidern in the german epitaph gives also, in the french poem bundling explicitly 'pétales' and 'paupière', a group of german words phonetically linked by li-, but only in a virtual manner, remaining in the mind, they are not pronounced.
    [2] Just a joke but with a serious meaning. It seems that be and will remain unchanged the french translation of a very famous poem of Goethe: Kennst Du das Land wo die Zitronen blühn? Connais-tu le pays où fleurit l'oranger? The subject follows the verb instead of to come before, as in the german text, a singular answers to the plural but, mostly, the taste of an orange has been substitued for the bitter lemons. However, it seems perfect. There is a mystery in the feeling of an accomplished target, an achieved translation, called to remain unchanged.
    [3] The sad story of a diphtong: GW (as in Gwendoline) from the old anglo-normand and called to become two separated letters, because there is no way to exchange and replace a labial (w) by a velar palatal (g). Very few literature on the question: an amazingly large list of equivalent words beginning by W (in german and english) and by G (in french): Wilhelm, William, Guillaume; warden, ward, garde; warrant, garantie; wastes, gastines; and so on, many others. Wimble, Guimbelet (gibelet, foret). Henriette Walter, may be the main exception , in the inheritance of André Martinet's functional linguistic, does mention and underlines the influence of the regional languages.
    [4] I would like to learn and to know whether any german mother is ability to use the word aufheben (the noun being Aufhebung) to ask to her children, for instance, to pull up their socks. If yes, french translations from Hegel, as 'subsumer'! could not be valid. We are invited to come back, reading Hegel, into the familiar words of a domestic world, such as these so peculiar hegelian words, Aufhebung and aufheben including the notion of 'dépassement'.
  14. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I presume you are still talking of Lid and Linde. Like Demiurg, I still don't see where you this association from. Linde does not occur in the poem anywhere nor is there any significant phonetic similarity. The two words share "L" and "d". The stem vowels, though not distinguished in writing (both are spelled "i"), are phonetically completely different.

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