Blog poświęcony tłumaczeniu, językom, analizie i interpretacji tekstów...

26 marca 2010

60. Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński (poem), Grzegorz Turnau (vocals, music) – Liryka, liryka, tkliwa dynamika (Poetry, poetry, tender geometry)

It must have happened... A poem by Gałczyński sung by Grzegorz Turnau translated, let’s say, and with a bit of luck, poetically.
To preserve the rhymes and the rhythm I had to change some verses, e.g. the chorus. The literal meaning of the original is shown in the literal translation (the “little fish” as it’s called in Polish). Also, I had to change the magazine titles because Polish titles are completely unknown to English reader. Of course, where there’s a reference to a communist gazette (“Gazeta Ludowa”), which builds a comic effect, I left it as it was.
“Gazeta Ludowa” was in fact an organ of the Polish Peasant’s Party in years 1947-1949. Next the “Generation” (“Pokolenie”) was a biweekly magazine published by Polish Youth Association (Związek Młodzieży Polskiej) and “Kamena” was a literary monthly issued in Lublin from 1933 to 1993.
The reference to “Przekrój” has its meaning: it was this magazine where Gałczyński published his poems after the Second World War, among others there were famous Gałczyński's “Green geese”. “Liryka, liryka, tkliwa dynamika” dates back to that exact time, namely 1946 year.
Arthur mentioned in the text was Artur Maria Swinarski, a poet and satirist.
It's worth mentioning that the lyrics sung by Turnau differ a little from the original poem. The differences are marked by writing the Turnau’s lyrics in superscript. Apart from that, Turnau skips some strophes, namely the 3rd, 5th, and 6th strophe.
There are two puns in the text which are difficult to render in translation. It’d be better to explain them. “A ja jak bóbr” (the 2nd strophe) refers to a Polish idiom “płakać jak bóbr”, literally ‘to cry like a beaver’ which is the equivalent for English “to cry one’s eyes out”. Next “Cud jak z nut” (the 4th strophe) contains part of the idiom “kłamać/łżeć jak z nut”, literally ‘to lie from music/a score’, which means ‘to lie through one’s teeth.

Liryka, liryka, tkliwa dynamika
Lyric poetry, lyric poetry, tender dynamics
Poetry, poetry, tender geometry

Sam nie rozumiem, skąd to mi się bierze,
I don’t how myself, how I happens to be
Have no idea, how it happens to me
że jestem mitologiczne zwierzę,
A mythological beast
that I’m a mythological beast
ni to świnio-byk ni to koto-pies,
A cross between a pig and a bull, a cross between a cat and a dog
half a piggy-bull, half a kitty-dog
i w ogóle z innych stron:
Totally from different parts
and from total different parts

Liryka, liryka
Lyric poetry, lyric poetry
Poetry, poetry
tkliwa dynamika,
tender dynamics
tender geometry
i dal.
and distance
and far

Idę, powiedzmy, wieczorem z Arturem
Say, when I’m going in the evening with Arthur
Going, let’s say, in the evening with Arthur
i nagle: księżyc wschodzi zanad murem,
And then the moon rises behindabove a wall
suddenly, the moon rises at harbour
Artur ostrzega, bo dobry kolega:
Arthur warns me, ‘cause he’s my good friend
Arthur warns me then, since a good friend
– Nie patrz. – A ja jak bóbr:
‘Don’t look.’ And me like a baby
‘Don’t look.’ And me like child

Liryka, liryka…

W takim „Przekroju” po prostu się boją
In such “Przekrój” they are just afraid
In such “New Yorker” they are just afraid
bo jak na przykład wejdę do pokoju
‘Cause when I enter a room, for example
‘Cause when I enter a space
i się zamyślę, powiedzmy, o Wiśle,
And fall into thought, say, on Vistula
and fall into thought, let say, on the Wisłok
to zaraz łzy jak groch:
Right Away bust in tears
right away burst in tears

Liryka, liryka…

Wy się nie dziwcie, śliczni panowie,
Don’t you wonder, my lovely gentlemen
My lovely gents, so stop you wondering
sześć lat po świecie tułał się człowiek
It was six years of wandering around the world,
Around the world six years of wandering
i naglea tutaj: Polska i harfa eolska,
And then there’shere’s Poland and the aeolian harp
and then there’s Poland and harp the aeolian
po prostu cud jak z nut:
Simply, a miracle through one’s teeth
a wonder through one’s teeth

Liryka, liryka…

Będziecie śmiać się, lecz daję słowo:
You may laugh, but I give you my word
You may be laughing, my word you can take
ja czytam nawet „Gazetę Ludową”
I even read the “Gazeta Ludowa”
While even reading “Popular Gazette”
i „Pokolenie”, i wiersze w „Kamenie”,
And “Pokolenie”, and poems in “Kamena”
or „Generation”, “Kamena” citations
i czytam, i szlocham, och!
And read and sob, oh!
and read I, and sob I, oh

Liryka, liryka…

Niech mnie zarąbią, niech honoraria
Let them hack me down, let the honoraria
Let them do hack me, and honoraria
wyda na wieńce Artur Marya!
be spent on the wreaths by Arthur Mary
spend on the wreaths my Arthur Maria
Ja jestem Polak, a Polak jest wariat,
I am a Pole, and a Pole is mad
A Pole I am true, and Poles have hysteria
a wariat to lepszy gość:
And madmas is still a better guy.
and madman is great a bloke

Liryka, liryka…

A po pogrzebie pod korniszon
And after the funeral under the gherkin
After funeral under gherkin
niech epitaphium mi napiszą:
Let an epitaph be written for me
Let them write an epitaph for me
‘Here lies a magician and a cheeky monkey’
“Here lies magician, cheeky monkey”
pod spodem taki tekst:
Underneath such a text
Beneath it such a text

Liryka, liryka…

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