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Hello Poetry People!

I’m going to comment on Aggeler’s and Wagner’s translations of Baudelaire’s “A une passante.” The differences in the translations really make for very different reading experiences. Aggeler’s, for example, is more poetic in nature from line to line than Wagner’s is. One thing that really struck me about both poems was their faithfulness to Baudelaire’s original structure. Aggeler’s translation stays true to this structure. Each line begins and ends as Baudelaire’s original poem, and so the meaning is there as well as the original structure that was intended for the poem. Wagner, on the other hand, changes the lines a bit, although he does maintain 14 lines. For example, Baudelaire’s original poem’s first line ends with the first sentence. Aggeler’s translation heeds this; Wagner’s, however, starts the next sentence on the same line, starting enjambment where there was none before. Structure is important in poetry; to change the positioning of the words may have been done by Wagner for some reason, but in my own opinion it takes away from what Baudelaire originally wanted to convey in “A une passante.”

Any takes on this idea?

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