May 1st, 2006

Swan rampant

About "teñir"

According to my dictionary, "teñir" is a transitive verb meaning "dye".  It also can be used figuratively to mean "tinge" or "stain".  What was the Neruda line, Jen, and do these other meanings help the translation?

Speaking of Neruda, are there any fans out there?  I've been reading William O'Daly's translation of El libro de las preguntas (both the Spanish and English versions of the poems are given).  Here's a taste (all the poems are about this length).


What are you guarding under your hump?
said a camel to a turtle.

And the turtle replied:
What do you say to oranges?

Does a pear tree have more leaves
than Remembrance of Things Past?

Why do leaves commit suicide
when they feel yellow?


Qué guardas bajo tu joroba?
dijo un camello a una tortuga.

Y la tortuga preguntó:
Qué conversas con las naranjas?

Tiene más hojas un peral
Buscando el tiempo perdido?

Por qué se suicidan las hojas
cuando se sienten amarillas?

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