07 September 2008

Patsy Cline Greeked

About a month ago my iPod handed me a classic Patsy Cline tune, Leaving on your Mind. For some reason I decided the song needed to be translated into ancient Greek. I decided on quatrains of glyconics (xx-uu-u-) with the occasional anaclastic glyconic, a.k.a. the choriambic dimeter, xx-x-uu-. Here's the original:



If you've got leavin' on your mind
Tell me now, get it over
Hurt me now, get it over
If you've got leavin' on your mind

If there's a new love in your heart
Well, tell me now, get it over
Hurt me now, get it over
If there's a new love in your heart

Don't leave me here
In a world filled with dreams that might have been
Hurt me now, get it over
I may learn to love again

If there's a new love in your heart
Well, tell me now, get it over
Hurt me now, get it over
If there's a new love in your heart

Hurt me now, get it over
If there's a new love in your heart


I removed some of the repeats. I indulged in an outrageous aeolic future infinitive — ἀπολειψέμεν — using a verb Lucian disapproved of for men to describe "leaving." However, I don't think ἐκπέμπω quite captures the right feel for "leaving" in this song.


εἰ μέλλεις ἀπολειψέμεν,
ἐμοὶ μὲν λέγε νῦν τελῶν,
πήμηνον δέ με νῦν τελῶν
εἰ μέλλεις ἀπολειψέμεν.

εἰ δ’ ἐν θυμῷ καινὸς ἔρως,
ἐμοὶ μὲν λέγε νῦν τελῶν,
πήμηνον δέ με νῦν τελῶν
εἰ δ’ ἐν θυμῷ καινὸς ἔρως.

στᾶσαν ἐνθάδε μὴ λίπῃς
παθοῦσάν τέ με καὶ μάτην.
πήμηνον δέ με νῦν τελῶν,
ἀλλ’ αὖθίς πού μοι φιλία.


In my first pass I bungled the meter of the third line from the end. I'm still not certain about my repairs there.

1 comment:

T.W. said...

The first two stanzas work pretty well for me.

(The third doesn't live up...the με seems preternaturally delayed and awkwardly placed, and I don't think you need to stick as close to English idiom as "leave me standing here"--which is very English even if it's not what Patsy Cline sang. And the last verse seems to feel the lack of its verb?)

Well, my main point was that I read it, not to whine too choosily...