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Poetry in Translation (CCXXXVII): W. H. AUDEN, (1907, York – 1973, Vienna): “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone”, “Oprește orologiul”

December 9th, 2013 · No Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation (CCXXXVII): W. H. AUDEN, (1907, York – 1973, Vienna): “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone”, “Oprește orologiul”

"... with muffled drum bring out the coffin..."

“… with muffled drum
bring out the coffin…”

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone
W. H. AUDEN (1907– 1973)

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Oprește orologiul

(1907 – 1973)

Oprește orologiul, și taie telefonul,
Împiedică potaia să își mai roadă osul,
Pianul să-l închizi și la semnal de tobă
Sicriul să pornească, să iasă tot norodul.

Pe cer scriind mesajul, piloţi din aeroplane
Confirmă vestea tristă că Omul a murit.
Puneţi cravate negre la lebedele albe,
Poliţia să poarte mănuși în ton închis.

Căci pentru mine-a fost busola vieţii mele
și ziua mea de lucru, Duminică de-odihnă,
O miază zi, un glas divin și-un cânt:
Crezând în viaţ-eternă, m-am înșelat profund.

Pe-ntregul cer, acuma, să camuflezi toţi aștrii;
Împachetează luna, și soarele în ţăndari
Deșeartă-ntreg oceanul, doboară codrul jos:
Nimic nu mai e-n stare să fie de folos!

Romanian version by: Constantin ROMAN,
© 2013, Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden

SHORT BIO: Yorkshire-born, Oxford-educated, W.H. AUDEN is one of the greatest English poets of the 20th century, whose influence left its mark on both sides of the Atlantic. Influenced in his youth by the Spanish Civil War, he was an ardent socialist, only to become, later on in life, preoccupied by Christianity and Protestant Theology.
Auden published about four hundred poems, including seven long poems. His poetry was encyclopaedic, ranging in style from obscure twentieth-century modernism to traditional forms such as ballads and limericks, from doggerel, through haiku and villanelles, to a “Christmas Oratorio” and a baroque eclogue in Anglo-Saxon meters. The tone and content of his poems ranged from pop-song clichés to complex philosophical meditations, from the corns on his toes to atoms and stars, from contemporary crises to the evolution of society.
A resident of New York, Auden died in Vienna.

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