Robert Frost in Translation/Polish/Postój pod lasem

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Postój pod lasem w śnieżną noc is a Polish translation of Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Jarek Zawadzki.

Postój pod lasem w śnieżną noc[edit]

Wiem czyje lasu są tego połacie.

Właściciel we wsi przecież mieszka w chacie,

Nie wie nic o tym, że teraz tu stoję,

Patrząc jak w śnieżniej się las kryje szacie.


A konia dziwi zachowanie moje,

Że drzew i stawu widokiem się koję

Na lodem skutym bezludziu, gdy wkoło

Noc wdziewa roku najciemniejsze stroje.


Trzęsie dzwonkami uprzęży wesoło,

Jakby chciał spytać: gdzie zajazd? gdzie sioło?

A śnieżnych płatków biała szumi rzeka

I wiatr owiewa lekko moje czoło.


Toń lasu piękna, ciemna i daleka;

Lecz wytrwać trzeba, gdy się coś przyrzeka.

A mil niemało przed snem jeszcze czeka,

A mil niemało przed snem jeszcze czeka.

Analysis[edit]

In his translation, Zawadzki managed to perfectly recreate both the form and the rhyming pattern of Frost’s poem. In the first stanza the words chosen to create rhymes do not disturb the grammatical correctness of the sentences (like it happened in Janta-Połczyński’s translation), nor the content of the original. In the second stanza, the mood of the poem was adequately represented, though it is more metaphorical, especially the last verse Noc wdziewa roku najciemniejsze stroje. While Frost is quite straight forward and writes about The darkest evening of the year, Zawadzki changes the evening into a night, which puts on the darkest vesture of the year. Still, this personalization does not make much change to the stanza, and to the whole poem. Nevertheless, Zawadzki was not so successful in the third stanza. He had to add some words to maintain the rhyming pattern. First of all, in the translation the horse shakes his bells wesoło [happily], which is certainly not what happens in the original. The horse gives his harness bells a shake |To ask if there is some mistake, his behavior is a sign of concern rather than of happiness. Furthermore, in Frost’s poem snow falls easily while in the translation there is a river of snowflakes. Apparently, the evening in the translation is not so calm as in the original. Finally, in the last verse Zawadzki writes I wiatr owiewa lekko moje czoło [I feel a gentle wind on my forehead]. Czoło, as well as rzeka [river] were introduced to create the rhyme but apart from that, they also create a contrast between the third and fourth verse of the stanza. Because of the three additional words, the translation almost completely misrepresents the third stanza. Fortunately, Zawadzki saves his translation in the last stanza, where he recreates both the rhyming pattern (without introducing additional words), as well as the meaning and the mood of the poem.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Kwiatkowski, Zbigniew. "W Zaciszu Biblioteki." : Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. N.p., 25 Oct. 2012. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.