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  • Subject


    Droste-Hülshoff, "Kinder am Ufer"

    O sieh doch! siehst du nicht die Blumenwolke
    Da drüben in dem tiefsten Weiherkolke?
    O! das ist schön! Hätt' ich nur einen Stecken,
    Schmalzweiße Kelch' mit dunkelrothen Flecken
    Und jede Glocke ist frisirt so fein
    Wie unser wächsern Engelchen im Schrein.
    Authormabr (598108) 29 Jun 15, 03:01
    Suggestionchalices white as lard, with blotches of dark red
    Apparently, snow white was to much of a cliché even then.

    For a metric translation, which I didn't attempt, goblets may work better.
    #1Authorcodero (790632) 29 Jun 15, 05:58
    I'm not sure I understand the question. You know Schmalz is lard, shortening, etc., so literally it's 'white as lard,' right? Though in a translation, something like 'tallow' might be a little more attractive.

    There seem to be several other harder spots in the lines you quote. But I don't know the poem, sorry, so hopefully you have some context for the cloud of flowers bzw. flower-like cloud (?), the pond-crater (?), the stick (?), and the bell (?).

    In any case, the waxen angel could be the same color as the white cups. And dark-red spots on the white chalices could be Christian imagery.

    But I can't even find a verb to say what the speaker would do with the stick (?); I don't see how the syntax even hangs together.

    Sorry, perhaps the native speakers will be able to help.


    Sorry, I also didn't see that someone had answered in the meantime. The chalices are plural, so they're also the bells -- the shapes of the children? Hmm ...
    #2Author hm -- us (236141) 29 Jun 15, 06:08
    If only I had a stick (to draw one of the water lilies ashore)

    (Had I only/but a stick would have been acceptable in the nineteenth century, I think.)

    But cf.
    Er ist mein Stecken und mein Stab
    (thy rod and thy staff they comfort me - Psalm 23)

    The theme of the poem seems to be: how can we children (humans) get nearer to divinity?
    #3Authorcodero (790632) 29 Jun 15, 06:23
    Thanks. There's so much Westphalian dialect in her poems that I wondered if this could have been a local or rustic expression. I'll leave it at "tallow-white" (better than "lard-white," which I had).

    The general sense, of course, is that the flowers float on the pond looking cloud-like. Think Monet. I've translated "Kolke" as cove, though that's just a guess. I'll post a separate query for "Stecken."
    #4Authormabr (598108) 29 Jun 15, 18:33
    Für "Kolk" hat LEO "pothole".
    #5Author Mattes (236368) 29 Jun 15, 18:47
    b. in Vertiefungen stehendes braun gefärbtes Wasser (in Hochmooren)
    A little pond that has formed in a natural depression, really.
    #6Authorcodero (790632) 29 Jun 15, 18:53
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