Date of Award

6-2009

Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Classics

First Advisor

Hans-Friedrich Mueller

Second Advisor

Charles Batson

Language

French

Abstract

This thesis explores the possibility of poetic translation that prioritizes metrical forms. Specifically, I have sought to represent the formal character of poems by Baudelaire and Anacreontic poets in metrical English translations. I have translated and discussed the 6th, 9th and 37th Fragments of the Anacreontics and Baudelaire’s poems “La Fontaine de Sang,” “Tristesses de la Lune,” and “Le Vin de l’assassin.” From this translation process I have been able to draw conclusions more generally about the difficulties posed by the translation of poetry. In the case of the Anacreontics, I have had to depend on generic considerations as well as the effect of the subject matter and tone of the poems in order to arrive at forms appropriate for my English translations. When translating the poems of Baudelaire, more immediately analogous options presented themselves, especially in the case of the sonnet. I have been able, however, by applying the same technique of identifying metrical irregularities and peculiarities, to make some progress toward a theory of translation across time, and to draw some conclusions as to possible future usefulness of arriving at equivalencies in form as well as in meaning.

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