Emily Dickinson's poems in translation/Polish/Hope is the Thing with Feathers/Stanisław Barańczak's translation

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The translation[edit]

Translation by Stanisław Barańczak[1] A back translation The original poem

"Nadzieja" jest tym upierzonym

Stworzeniem na gałązce

Duszy - co śpiewa melodie

Bez słów i nie milknące -


W świście Wichru - brzmi uszom najsłodziej -

I srogich by trzeba Nawałnic -

Aby spłoszyć maleńkiego ptaka,

Co tak wielu zdołał ogrzać i nakarmić -


Śpiewał mi już na Morzach Obcości -

W Krainach Chłodu -

Nie żądając w zamian Okruszka -

Choć konał z Głodu.

"Hope" is the feathered

Creature on the twig

Of the Soul – that sings melodies

Wordless and never-ending –


In the whistle of the Gale – it sounds the sweetest –

And harsh must be Storms –

To startle the tiny bird

That managed to warm and feed so many –


It already sang me on the Seas of Strangeness –

In the Lands of Chill –

Not demanding a Crumb in return –

Though it was dying of Hunger.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -


And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -


I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.[2]

Source[edit]

  1. https://poema.pl/publikacja/15611-emily-dickinson-254-nadzieja-jest-tym-upierzonym-dot-dot-dot
  2. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171619