A Blogger’s Beowulf in 2018

A ruined medieval castle that Karl Julius von Leypold drew and that is featured on A Blogger's Beowulf for its 2018 updates post.

An illustration by Carl Julius von Leypold entitled “Winter View of the Courtyard of a Medieval Castle in Ruins”. Image from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karl_Julius_von_Leypold_-_Blick_auf_einen_winterlichen_Innenhof_einer_mittelalterlichen_Ruine.jpg

Wow. It’s been almost eight (8!) weeks without a Beowulf translation post.

First off, sorry for leaving this site silent for so long.

My only excuse is that between work, the podcast I’m a part of (as co-host and editor/producer (http://podcast.fanthropological.com/ is where you can find that, by the way)), the holiday season, and my life in general I just haven’t had the time to sit down, type up my translations, and then come up with a commentary for them.

So what’s happening with A Blogger’s Beowulf?

Well, for the rest of January, nothing.

But for a good reason.

The Grand Plan

My grand plan is to make time to type out the remaining 200 or so lines of my translation. Once that’s done I can get the rest of the standard translation entries ready to go for February. So, from February 1, 2018 and every Thursday following that you can come back here to continue through my translation of Beowulf.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ll be done with this site when those run out.

I’ve already put a lot of time and energy into my translation and these posts so I want this site to get a little more attention in 2018. To accomplish this, I’m going to bring the Beowulf news entries back in a meaningful way. I’m currently thinking interviews with big time Beowulf fans and creators who have been―and still are―inspired by the ancient epic.

In terms of the poem itself, I plan to use this site to slowly release drafts of a final version of my translation. It’s my grand scheme to put these pieces together and release that full version (maybe with or without my commentary) in at least digital form by the end of 2018.

2018

So, what can you expect out of A Blogger’s Beowulf in 2018?

Right now, a weekly posting schedule is ideal for me. So only expect the translations for the first few months of the new year. But once those have finished I’ll be trying to alternate between polished chapters of the poem and the more “news”-style posts (think interviews, and reviews of Beowulf-inspired media).

So for the start of 2018 I’ll be fettered by frost locks (much like the world outside here in Kitchener). But the heat of a new year will thaw those chains and see this site reach for new heights.

If you’ve got some thoughts on these plans, or if there are people you’d like to see me interview/write about for this site, please let me know in the comments or at nsczach@gmail.com!

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The Fourth Verse of "Tempus Adest Floridum" (Latin)

Abstract
Translations
Vocabulary Boost
We’ve Made a Few…Changes
Closing

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Abstract

Well, just as the winter of the song has wrapped up so too does the song itself now wrap up. This entry marks the final verse of the song “Tempus Adest Floridum” (which you can read in its entirety, in Latin, here).

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Translations

So, here is my translation of verse four:

“The earth is ornamented by flowers and much beauty.
We dignify by death and certainly loving.
Therefore we rejoice in the pleasing time,
We praise and laud the Lord from the bottom of our hearts.”

And the more metrical version:

“The earth is filled by flowers now, and with much beauty,
Death and love we now do dignify absolutely.
Thus in this pleasing season we now rejoice,
Praise and laud the lord with heart’s voice.”

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Vocabulary Boost

Having already worked through the previous three verses, this one gave me little trouble.

Aside from a few words that I added to my vocabulary (honestis-dignify, maybe root of the verb sense of honour; pectoris-heart, mind, breast~I had to look it up because I had confused it with peccator, meaning sin; and iucundo, meaning pleasing or delightful), there was little that caused difficulty.

But difficulty was still had.

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We’ve Made a Few…Changes

This time it came in the form of the last line of the verse. I know (and confirmed) that the suffix “que” means “and, both” and that sort of thing, but as far as I can tell there’s no other verb present in the sentence. Thus, I just unpacked “laudemus,” the result being “praise and laud.” It might not do for the literal translation, but there is something there for the more liberal version, I think.

Speaking of the liberal version. A few changes were necessary throughout this verse to make the words more or less fit the melody and rhyme scheme. For example, “certainly” was replaced with “absolutely” in line two, and “voice” was subbed in for “depths” in line four. Replacing “time” with “season” is a little less egregious though – the two words are practically synonyms.

If you think otherwise, however, or have something that you want to suggest, correct, or just plain comment on, feel free to do so in the comments below.

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Closing

Since that wraps up “Tempus Adest Floridum,” next week I’ll post a full, metrical and rhyming version of the song, my own performance of it, and an introduction to the next text. And, of course, that’s another thing that you can toss into a comment: a request for me to translate any text.

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First Verse of "Tempus Adest Floridum" (Latin)

Introduction
Translations
Word Issues
Liberties Taken
Closing

Introduction

So this song, “Tempus Adest Floridum,” is the origin of the tune for “Old King Wenceslas.” However, as you’ll notice from the title and from the song’s content it has nothing to do with old King Wenceslas.

You can find the full song in its original Latin here.

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Translations

First my literal translation:

The time for flowers now is come, for the flowers rise up.
Spring in all things, the likeness/copy of nature.
This which ice had attacked, has recovered warmth.
We all see this weeping, by great work.

And my dolled up translation (with some rhyme):

The time for flowers now is come, for the flowers now arise.
All things now are of the spring, nature’s likeness is in all eyes.
This which winter once had attacked, has regained its fire;
We all see winter’s weeping, since spring has perspired.

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Word Issues

The issues that came up for me during this translation were relatively minor, just a few issues with words not being in my Collins Pocket Gem dictionary. The words in question?

“Vernales” (an adjective meaning “of Spring” was the worst); “Cerno” (ere, crevi, cretum; a verb meaning to see, discern, understand, perceive, etc.); and “fleo” (ere, evi, etum; a verb meaning to weep, cry, lament, mourn for) were close seconds since I had to twist things around to make good sense of it all.

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Liberties Taken

Obviously, I took some liberties with the second use of “hoc” (“this”) to bring in Winter again, but I like the personification of the seasons to which this song gives rise.

It isn’t direct personification, necessarily, but the conceit definitely helps to make the translation more fun. And, since the original image seems to be that of icicles dripping (hence weeping), making winter the weeper seems appropriate.

The conquest of spring also makes it a more joyous song, even if that joy is derived from conquest.

Though I must admit that a pop song about Spring coming in and ruining Winter’s shit might be fun as well, the cycle of nature can be pretty brutal after all.

“Transpire” could also have worked as the final word of the verse, but I think that spring is generally a wet season, and “perspire” is a wetter word. It also implies that much more effort was used, and if a season is going to be made to weep I imagine that even another season is going to need to break a sweat.

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Closing

So that’s verse one of “Tempus Adest Floridum.” Expect verse two next week.

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