Modern Poetry in Translation - Getting it Across
Stephanie Norgate Two haiku versions of Lucretius
See Stephanie Norgate’s note on her versions in MPT 3/7. We publish the two following here because both have to do with signs and effects, with things being made manifest.
The damage of wind and water (De Rerum Natura, 1, 265-297)
‘The hidden atoms of the wind flow like water and, like water, churn out maelstroms.’
Mem, you’ve watched a gale whip up wave clutter, capsize ships, blow away clouds?
Lucretius / Norgat e
A racing twister rip out trees, juggle them, then scatter them on plains,
batter mountain peaks with forestsplintering blasts? Heard unseen thunder?
You have seen runnels swell into torrents brimming with icemelt, swirling
uprooted orchards to the river’s mouth, whirling arms of trees down weirs.
Bridges won’t withstand the skeltering storm water. So a burn swollen
by deluging rain drives its force against arches, smashes heavy stone,
hurls away and drowns whatever resists the flow of its wild currents.
Whirlwind or whirlpool, both smash, twirl, rip, wind things up in sucking eddies.