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The two translations from “A une passante” that I am going to discuss are William Aggeler’s and Roy Campbell’s. As soon as I began reading Aggeler’s version I quickly felt a poetic tone especially in the first line. “The street about me roared with a deafening sound” draws me into the imagery. Aggeler doesn’t describe the state of the street being noisy and chaotic until you finish the sentence. Campbell’s first line of the poem “The deafening street roared on.” is very quick and to the point which makes the line feel dry, and too simple. To be honest, the two first lines in Aggeler’s and Campbell’s poem reflect how different their poems are in comparison to one another. Throughout Aggeler’s version of “A une passante”, he stretches out his words and lines to make it sound beautiful and poetic. Campbell on the other hand uses words that are simple which may mean he just wants to show his feelings instead of writing in a poetic and beautiful way. Lines 6-8 set the tone for Aggeler and Campbell’s versions. These lines further illustrate the difference in tone and reception that I am describing. Lines 6-8 of Aggeler’s version states, “Tense as in a delirium, I drank/ From her eyes, pale sky where tempests germinate,/ The sweetness that enthralls and the pleasure that kills.” The beauty in these words resonate especially when he uses the words, “sweetness”, and “pleasure”, and “pale sky”. These words are all pretty or beautiful. Campbell’s lines in 6-8 state, “I drank convulsed out of her pensive eye,/ A livid sky where hurricanes were hatching,/ Sweetness that charms and joy that makes one die.” The word pensive means reflective or meditative which evokes feeling into Campbell’s version. “Hurricanes hatching” is very simple compared to the powerful use of the word “enthrall” from Aggeler, and “hatching” reminds me of a bird popping out of an egg. “Sweetness that charms” is very simple compared to ” The sweetness that enthralls”. The moral of Vania’s story is sometimes its better to use imagery and beauty to evoke meaning about a woman that you fall in love with at first sight like Aggeler did instead of using words that are meaningful/emotional yet too simple which Campbell did.

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