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Posted on April 19th, 2012, by

It Rains in My Heart

It rains in my heart
as on town and on mart,
pours down longings that start
to reign in my heart!

Oh soft ringing of rain
poured on earth, eave and pane, –
for poor heart feeling pain, –
oh the ringing of rain!

It rains without reason
in this heart fears have lease on.
What? – no season for treason?
Do I grieve without reason?

What most hurts me, I wait
Why’ not knowing, sad fate,
without love, without hate, …
On my heart what a weight!

© Jonathan Robin 17 June 1991 after Paul Verlaine – Il Pleure dans mon Coeur


Il Pleure dans mon Coeur

Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville.
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénêtre mon coeur?

O bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un coeur qui s’ennuie,
O le chant de la pluie!

Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce coeur qui s’écoeure.
Quoi! nulle trahison?
Ce deuil est sans raison.

C’est bien la pire peine
De ne savoir pourquoi,
Sans amour et sans haine,
Mon coeur a tant de peine.

Romances Sans Paroles

Paul VERLAINE 1844_1896


The literary translation of a poem is traditionally accompanied by substantial challenges a translator should cope with. Moreover, it should be said that the translation of a poem implies that a translator should not simply understand the poem literary but he/she needs to understand the message of the poet, his/her feelings and emotions and symbolic implications the poet attempted to convey to the audience. It is very important to preserve these implications as well as the stylistic peculiarities of the poem written in the native language.

In order to understand the complexity of literature translation it is possible to refer to the translation of the poem Il Pleure Dans Mon Ceour by Paul Verlaine made by Jonathan Robin. First of all, it should be said that the translation basically preserves the rhythm of the original poem, in spite of the different languages used. The latter is important because the pitch of French phrases is traditionally different from English one, but the poetic form eliminates these differences.

At the same time, it should be said that the translation basically conveys the original message of the author. For instance, the author and translator successfully use the symbolism of the rain and closely associate natural phenomenon, i.e. rain with the internal state of the narrator since he is apparently suffering and his internal sufferings mirrored by the rain. However, the translator should attempt to focus on the internal of the narrator in regard to the boredom and certain anxiety Pour un ceour qui s’ennui that affects the narrator in the original version, while the translation transforms these feelings into the feeling of pain which is more abstract than the feelings of the narrator in the French version for poor heart feeling pain

Nevertheless, in general, the translation meets the message and style of the original poem


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