Saturday, December 05, 2015

Poe's Raven Revisited

Here's an excerpt from the Atternen Juez Talen (The Eternal Jew's Tale).
In the current scene our hero has recently parted from a modern (that is, modern in the 12th century) Aesop, or as he is known in the tale, Eethope. Actually, Eethope just disappeared (which is the topic of the first stanza.) Now a raven appears at the Eternal Jew's window and he wonders if its an incarnation of Eethope.
Then I have a little fun with Eddie Poe...
You will note, the stevetok, MetaEnglish version is interleaved with a translation done into Old English (which you call standard English). The Old English version is, naturally, much easier to read, but it is stripped of its higher dimensionality.

From The Atternen Juez Talen

An then he iz gon. Slunk awway
Or stokt awway, or flu or hopt.

      And then he was gone. Slunk away
      Or stalked away, or flew or hopped.

Maken up for lossee tiemz
My werkenz late on a Torrah skroel.
A kwik kut tu sharpen my reed;
A dippen the eenk an a littel flik
Tu shake of ennee exses eenks;
An chanten the line in a faverd trope;
An repeet the werden nex tu rite.

      Makin’ up for lost time
      I  worked late on a Torah scroll.
      A quick cut to sharpen my reed;
      I dip in the ink and a little flick
      To shake off any excess ink;
      And chant the line in a favored trope;
      And repeat each word before I write.

Now stoke the fiyer an blakflame leeps
Frum the bed a koelz, blienden hot...
Iem tokken heer in a mettaffor.
Pen, the fiyer; eenk, the flame;
Parchmen, the wite hot bed a koel.
      Speren tu the flesh iz flesh tu the spere.

      Now stoke the fire and black flame leaps
      From the bed of coals, blinding hot...
      I’m talkin’ here in a metaphor.
      Pen, the fire; ink, the flame;
      Parchment, the white hot bed of coal.
           Spirit to the flesh is flesh to the spirit.

Az I eenk the parchmen in saekred werdz:
      *‘Rebbellen not. Neether tranzgres,
      ‘For yur sin kannot be born in him.
      ‘‘My Name iz a hole aspiyerren him....’*
           *-* Shmote/Exxaddus 23:21

      As I ink the parchment with the sacred words:
           *‘Rebel not. Neither transgress,
           ‘For your sin cannot be borne by him.
           ‘My Name is the whole aspiration of him....’*
                *-* Shmot/Exodus 23:21

Hark! A rappen; ho, a tappen.
Wisper hisper, yippen yappen.
A kors I krakken ope the shutter
Ware with mennee a flitten flutter
Thaer hops in a hagger raven.
He perchen on a busted basen,
A basen that I wuns addord,
An sez, “Iem sent heer by the Lor.”

      Hark! A rapping; ho, a tapping.
      Whisper, hisper, yip and yapping.
      Of course I crack open the shutter
      Where with many a flit and flutter
      There hops in a haggard raven.
      He perches on a busted basin,
      A basin that I once adored,
      And says, “I’m sent here by the Lor.”

Am I a dreemee? Am I disterb?
This berd, iz he tokken? A tokken berd...
      “Eethope, zat yu?” I desper implor.
The berd in sitz say nuthen mor.

      Am I dreeming? Am I disturbed?
      This bird, is he talking? A talking bird...
           “Eethope, is that you?” I desperate implore.
      The bird just sits and says nothing more.

Aenkshes an raenkeld, I lay down my reed,
Kork the eenk, kuvver the sheet
A Torrahz. Its flamen a fade intu gloom
In the dul liten this erthee room.

      Anxious and rankled, I lay down my reed,
      Cork the ink, cover the sheet
      Of Torah. Its flaming fades into gloom
      In the dull light of this earthly room.

Am I insane or delluded or shamd,
My sitz, estraenjen a straenjer lan.
The berd ruffelz with a siklee kroek
An now insted uv a raven, I note
A raven-size man; a littel Eethope.
An beforz I am seez iffen him fer shor,
Its jes a raven an nuthen mor....

      Am I insane or deluded or shammed.
      I sit, estranged in a strange land.
      The bird ruffles with a sickly croak
      And now instead of a raven, I note
      A raven-sized man; a little Eethope.
      And before I can see if it’s him for sure,
      Its just a raven and nothing more....

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