Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"ah me kitty ah": Phonological Translation

Sound Translation was a cool modernist experiment, even if no takes it seriously anymore. The best stuff was often quite clever-- and always good for a laugh (if not a hearty chortle). The master was Louis Zukofsky. This is from "Catallus 100" (yes, there are 115 more).

Caelius Aufilenum et Quintus Aufilenam 
flos Veronensum deperunt iuvenum,
hic fratrem, ille sororem, hoc est, quod dicitur, illus
fraternum vere dulcem sodalitium
cuit faveam potius? Caeli, tibi: nam tua nobis
perspecta egregiest unica amicitia
cum vesana meas torret flamma medullas 
sis felix, Caeli, sis in amore potens

Caelius Aufilenus’s mate, Quintius Aufilena’s am
flow’rs Vernoa’s sum they pair and hunt (you venom)
“he” ‘ll frat him, he’ll lace her or hum. ‘Who quest,’ quoth thick with ore, ‘a lewd
frater new way re th’whole cuss’t sodality mm.’
Who we favor--whom--put to us? Caeli, tibby: now to your (know bees?)
perspective egregious “best” unique ah me kitty ah,
come wasting on my eas t’her reared at flame my medulla’s
Seize fay licks, Caeli, see as in  and more potence.

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