Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Translations of a line from Wallace Stevens into Spanish: "It was evening all afternoon."

The Spanish word "tarde" can be translated into English as either "afternoon" or "evening", depending on what time of day is being referred to. This just made wonder about a line from the last section of Wallace Stevens's "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird": "It was evening all afternoon." With an internet search, I found two translations, one by Raúl Gustavo Aguirre: "Toda la tarde fue de noche." And one by Andrés Sánchez Robayna: "Toda la tarde era crepúsculo." The latter seems better to me because it avoids "noche", the Spanish word for "night". I also just like "crepúsculo" ("dusk"), though my preference for it is from French, not Spanish. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 9 June 2021)


Note: In my lipogram version, I render the line as "It was dusk for hours past noon."
A selection of Stevens translated by Andrés Sánchez Robayna.


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