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Bedros says

Hi friends , I would really appreciate any help about this.
I would use Google Translator (and did)but anyway , I really prefer any Native German speaker’s translation over bloody Google.
Of course I don’t expect a perfect translation, it is almost impossible, this is poetry and is a great responsibility ; but anyway, I would really appreciate any help from a fellow German member. Even the the direct meanings of the lines would help a lot ,
The bold part is the one I am interested in.

Du, Nachbar Gott, wenn ich dich manches Mal
in langer Nacht mit hartem Klopfen störe, -
so ists, weil ich dich selten atmen höre
und weiß: Du bist allein im Saal.
Und wenn du etwas brauchst, ist keiner da,
um deinem Tasten einen Trank zu reichen:
ich horche immer. Gib ein kleines Zeichen.
Ich bin ganz nah.

Nur eine schmale Wand ist zwischen uns,
durch Zufall; denn es könnte sein:
ein Rufen deines oder meines Munds -
und sie bricht ein
ganz ohne Lärm und Laut.

Aus deinen Bildern ist sie aufgebaut.

Und deine Bilder stehn vor dir wie Namen.
Und wenn einmal in mir das Licht entbrennt,
mit welchem meine Tiefe dich erkennt,
vergeudet sichs als Glanz auf ihren Rahmen.

Und meine Sinne, welche schnell erlahmen,
sind ohne Heimat und von dir getrennt.

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contrastblack Staff says

Hey… this is sort of a mixture of a precise translation and a somewhat fine touch added so that it’s not completely awkward in English:

You, neighbor God, if I, at any time
in lengthy nights with hard knocking dare to bother thy, -
it’s solely because, I rarely hear you breathe
and know: you’re alone in the hall.
And if you need something, there’s no one there,
To offer thy grasp a drink:
I listen always. Give me but a sign,
I’m very close.

There’s but a thin wall between us,
through mere coincidence; because it could be that:
a calling of thy or my own mouth –
and it crumbles,
entirely without noise or sound.

It’s built out of your images.

And your images stand before you like names.
And if at any given time my light extinguishes,
with which my depth distinguishes you,
Its shine diminishes across their frames.


And my senses, senses which rapidly expire,
are without a home and from you departed.


:)

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Bedros says

Thanks a lot, frend , I really appreciate that you’re taking your precious time for this.
A few questions to make it clearer for me ; Of course there is a meaning beyond the exact meanings of the words in German but..: (it’s all about the German words in the original)

It’s built out of your images.

And your images stand before you like names.
“image” here , in the meaning of a photo, or more like a simulacrum? (I mean the German word)
And if at any given time my light extinguishes,
my light “extinguishes” > in the meaning of, “my light becomes stronger”?
with which my depth distinguishes you,
my depth “distinguishes” you > I become to know you better and better?
Its shine diminishes across its frame.
The light of the other person’s image become weaker? Or Rilke talks about himself , about his ego which also has its part in the construction of the wall , at this Line?

And my senses, senses which rapidly expire,
are without a home and from you departed.

:)



Thanks for all!

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contrastblack Staff says

Thanks a lot, frend , I really appreciate that you’re taking your precious time for this.
A few questions to make it clearer for me ; Of course there is a meaning beyond the exact meaning o f the words but..:

It’s built out of your images.

And your images stand before you like names.
“image” here , in the meaning of a photo, or more like a simulacrum? (I mean the German word)
And if at any given time my light extinguishes,
my light extinguishes > in the meaning of, “my light becomes stronger”?
with which my depth distinguishes you,
my depth distinguishes you > I become to know you better and better?
Its shine diminishes across its frame.

And my senses, senses which rapidly expire,
are without a home and from you departed.

:)

1). Well, technically I can’t give you a straight answer because either one has a different effect on the entirety of the poem, and on the respective reader. Both work equally well: as “photo” you have a more tangible perception of the concept, whereas with “depiction” / “projection” you reach further into a more spiritual approach.

2). no, extinguishes > is the opposite of becomming stronger > i.e: to put out a fire > to extinguish it.

3). to distinguish something > to give (gain) meaning of something you’re observing in this context. Alternate, free, out of context translation: ”...with the aid of depth, you become clearer”. (very close to your version, but in context, that specific line actually states the opposite > lack of depth leading to lack of correct perception/understanding)

:D

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Bedros says

Thanks again and sorry for all the trouble, and what do you think about the line below, the BOLD one , in the original German version..:

It’s built out of your images.
And your images stand before you like names.
And if at any given time my light extinguishes,
with which my depth distinguishes you,
Its shine diminishes across its frame.

The light of the other person’s image become weaker? Or Rilke talks about himself , about his ego which also has its part in the construction of the wall , at this Line?

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contrastblack Staff says

Thanks again and sorry for all the trouble, and what do you think about the line below, the BOLD one..:

It’s built out of your images.
And your images stand before you like names.
And if at any given time my light extinguishes,
with which my depth distinguishes you,
Its shine diminishes across its frame.

The light of the other person’s image become weaker? Or Rilke talks about himself , about his ego which also has its part in the construction of the wall , at this Line?

No problem :)

The thing is that you can’t isolate a single line and ask for an explanation, particularly in poetry :P. What defines this poem is the extension of a single idea/phrase across multiple lines.
That being said, the topical order is reversed. As such, here’s an alternate translation that should help clarify this for you:

The wall between him and the author is built out of images. In case (at any given time) the author’s light (life/force) dies off, it no longer shines across the frame of the images (Belief is but a reflection of one’s capacity to believe).

Contextual scheme: 1st verse is paired with the 5th, 2nd verse further refines the concept of “images”, whereas 3rd and 4th verse lead > express why we get to the conclusion in the 5th verse.

That’s about as far as I can go with explanations, as I’m neither a poet, nor a linguist, and as much as I enjoy this… I fear I might lead you onto the wrong path :P

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Bedros says


Thanks again and sorry for all the trouble, and what do you think about the line below, the BOLD one..:

It’s built out of your images.
And your images stand before you like names.
And if at any given time my light extinguishes,
with which my depth distinguishes you,
Its shine diminishes across its frame.

The light of the other person’s image become weaker? Or Rilke talks about himself , about his ego which also has its part in the construction of the wall , at this Line?

No problem :)

The thing is that you can’t isolate a single line and ask for an explanation, particularly in poetry :P. What defines this poem is the extension of a single idea/phrase across multiple lines.

+1 ,Absolutely…

Thank you very much , you really helped a lot ; I wish I knew German ; I am a poetry fanatic.
If you need anything from my portfolio , please let me know and its yours.

Kind Regards and thanks again,
Bedros
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contrastblack Staff says

Thank you very much , you really helped a lot ; I wish I knew German ; I am a poetry fanatic.
If you need anything from my portfolio , please let me know and its yours.

Kind Regards,
Bedros

I need you to never give up on your passion, whatever it may be. That would be all :)
Thanks for the awesome poem too btw.

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Bedros says

Thanks! :)

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