Thursday, May 1, 2014

Free adaptation, translation without word boundaries

I find some dynamic equivalence neither dynamic nor equivalent, but I was just imagining how one might drive through a psalm with an earth mover.  Here's  Psalm 16 (I will never get out of Book 1).

Alright, you want me to write, to gold-plate your love. Consider me Beloved.
Preserve me? Really? Refuge in you? I said so.
You said in fact to the One who cannot be named - "You are my governor.
I have nothing that is good outside of you."

All those famous, revered - thieves and robbers!, Dead Rulers of all stripes.
I have zero delight in them.

The world follows them with adulation, rushing headlong into oblivion.
You won't find me drinking to them, or even naming them.

You, Unnameable, my share - you know how I drink to you,
You are even my cup.
You will keep track of me.

You promise, and the pleasure is your pledge, binding on you,
for me, even me, an inheritance beyond imagining.

I will say so to whomever asks - I will repeat your advice,
indeed I will come as close as I can, without misleading,
to your chastening hand on my vital center.

So, the One who is remembered by that Name and I
have a bargain, continual, face to face,
governance unmediated - so I am unmovable,
my heart glad, my glory rejoicing, my flesh living in trust.

You will not throw me off into shadowy places with Dead Rulers.
You will not allow anyone within your love and mercy to see destruction.
You will show me the path of life,
satisfaction, gladness, your continuing presence,
pleasures in your governance always.

Glory to the One who creates, the Same who redeems, and the Holy
who was, who is, and who continues, with us eternally, Amen.

And here's my rigid rendering.

מִכְתָּם לְדָוִד
שָׁמְרֵנִי אֵל כִּי חָסִיתִי בָךְ
From gold, concerning atonement, through inscription, of David.
Keep me O God for I take refuge in you.
אָמַרְתְּ לַיהוָה
אֲדֹנָי אָתָּה
טוֹבָתִי בַּל עָלֶיךָ
(You said to יהוה
You are my Lord)
My good pales beside you
לִקְדוֹשִׁים אֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ
כָּל חֶפְצִי בָם
About the holy ones that are in the earth
of them
and of majesties ...
Is all my delight in them?
יִרְבּוּ עַצְּבוֹתָם
אַחֵר מָהָרוּ
בַּל אַסִּיךְ נִסְכֵּיהֶם מִדָּם
וּבַל אֶשָּׂא אֶת שְׁמוֹתָם עַל שְׂפָתָי
Let their idols increase
following they rush headlong
I will not spill out their libations with blood
neither will I bear their names on my lips
יְהוָה מְנָת חֶלְקִי וְכוֹסִי
אַתָּה תּוֹמִיךְ גּוֹרָלִי
יהוה is the portion of my share and my cup
You yourself maintain my lot
חֲבָלִים נָפְלוּ לִי בַּנְּעִמִים
אַף נַחֲלָת שָׁפְרָה עָלָי
Pledges have fallen to me in pleasures
Indeed for me there is a glistening inheritance
אֲבָרֵךְ אֶת יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר יְעָצָנִי
אַף לֵילוֹת יִסְּרוּנִי כִלְיוֹתָי
I will bless יהוה who advises me
Indeed in the nights my vital centre chastens me
שִׁוִּיתִי יְהוָה
לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד
כִּי מִימִינִי בַּל אֶמּוֹט
I have agreed with יהוה
in front of me continually
for he is at my right hand so I will not be moved
לָכֵן שָׂמַח לִבִּי
וַיָּגֶל כְּבוֹדִי
אַף בְּשָׂרִי יִשְׁכֹּן לָבֶטַח
So my heart will be glad
and my glory rejoice
Indeed my flesh will dwell in trust
כִּי לֹא תַעֲזֹב נַפְשִׁי לִשְׁאוֹל
לֹא תִתֵּן חֲסִידְךָ לִרְאוֹת שָׁחַת
for you will not forsake me to the grave
You will not permit one within your mercy to see destruction
תּוֹדִיעֵנִי אֹרַח חַיִּים
שֹׂבַע שְׂמָחוֹת אֶת פָּנֶיךָ
נְעִמוֹת בִּימִינְךָ נֶצַח
You will make known to me a path of life
satisfaction of gladness in your presence
pleasures at your right hand always

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