--for short) got interested in Bolesław Leśmian (how nice!
) in her thread Tripe,...
. I don't want to delude her series of poems there by other things hence a new thread. Tx wrote:
I...read...how difficult he [Leśmian] is to translate because of the idiosyncrasies within the Polish language that he used. If you have a translation [of poem "Odjazd"], I'd be delighted if you would share it.
Tx, I have a translation. I can post it in your thread or here, let me know. That translation is poor though. But at least here and there I can write about the artistic differences between the translation and the original. I will not write too much about it because it makes me nervous.
Among the many-many great poets, I have no doubts that the two greatest poets so far by far ever were Du Fu (712-770) and Bolesław Leśmian (1877-1937). The later appeared more than a thousand years after the former. Do we need another thousand year or more for another poet like them? Will there be any poetry to tlk about in 200 years from now? BTW, the Leśmian's date of birth is known only within three years. There are (at least) three competing guesses.
In this post I'll write a bit about the imagry in Du Fu's and Bolesław Lesmian's poetry. All great poets have wonderful images. They can be everydayish or exotic but great! After all, many people said that poetry is painting with words, and this saying is not original but common. It's still true.
There are however certain differences between our two poets. As long as I know, Du Fu always presents realistic images. They can be surprising in the way he looks at the image, due to the associations, but they are always based on real images. I am sure that he often imagined those realistic-like images, but nevertheless they still belong to the real world. Leśmian certainly had his share of realistic images, but also of fantastic images. They still felt as sensual as possible, and even more so, but they belonged to a fantastic world. One can feel intuitively the difference between real-like images and fantastic images.
From the view of poetry the above difference was in a way formal. But there are also more material differences. There is a difference in the proportion of the number of scenes of different scale. Both were found of every scale of realistic images. However, Du Fu went beyond this. He had even in the same poem (or even mainly in the same poem), in the same scene: zoom, regular scale, distant perspective--e.g. the top of a far away tall mountain; and on the top of it Du Fu would introduce a view of entire country! You can say that this is not realistic--Du Fu was never flying any plane (he would have to wait for this more than a millennium), but it was. Indeed, his images were from this world, not from any other. He had such imagination that I feel like I saw his scenes from a passenger jet plane window. Why, I had this kind of impressions also when I was flying in small planes (I wish I would pilot them
On the other hand, when it comes to extremal zoom, the Leśmian was an absolute champion. He would let you see an abundance of the Nature's tiny details and small things, and you can see them in action, not just passively noting them.
Thus in some poems Leśmian will give space so that you can breath easy. But Du Fu would do it more. These three or four scales in one scene is incredible. The Du Fu's views are somewhat distant, detached. In the case of Leśmian you are in the middle of Nature, you are surrounded by it.
Other differences between Du Fu and Bolesław Leśmian are equally or rather even more profound. Oh, sure, there are also similarities--the basic poetic virtues.