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A Translation Criticism on Translation of W. B.

Yeats The Second Coming by Cevap apan

William Butler Yeats, a well-known Irish poet and playwright, was born in 1865. He was born into a culture which might be considered to be Anglo-Irish. Since his childhood he had been interested in mysticism and occult. Although his poetry grows more realistic towards his later years, it can be claimed that this kind of lifelong interest affected his poetry deeply. Yeats was rather interested in politics, as well. Therefore, saying that his poetry has a dual characteristic consisting of mystic elements as well as realistic elements, shall not be wrong. This essay shall deal with the criticism from the aspect of this dual characteristic in the poem and the reflections of it in the translation.

We can observe such a characteristic discussed above, in The Second Coming. The title seems to refer to resurrection. However, when the poem is read, the meaning gets broader than a christian belief. From the very beginning of the poem, Yeats makes readers encounter with such a strong image, the widening gyre in the first stanza. From realistic aspect, this imagery might refer to the chaos, disorder and destruction which are caused by First World War. The date in which this poem was written is rather important to determine the historical context. The poem was written in 1919, one year after the war. In historical context, we can claim that the gyre might refer to the outcomes of war. In the third verse, the expression things fall apart; the centre cannot hold is again about the outcomes of the war. Here we might say that the worlds on-going systems have cracked. Such examples show themselves in the first stanza. We can think it as a camera which shows the times after the war. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the ceremony of innocence is drowned, blood-dimmen tide etc.

Second stanza begins with an atmosphere which might evoke of rebirth. Here, we can observe a religious air and therefore saying that the dual characteristic of poet starts to operate, will not be wrong. In this stanza, there is a goingaway from God and holiness. This theme might be observed in when a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; a shape with lion body and the head of a man lines. Spiritus Mundi means the soul of the world. This imagery should be dealt from two dimensions one of which and more important one is realistic approach. The poet sees only the world, with no spirit. Spirit, which has been told to exist has no reflection on the earth anymore. After all that harm, spiritus mundi shows itself as bare world and this is a painfull thing for humanity. The hope of resurrection has lost. We can observe this air in That twenty centries of stony sleep line. This line seems to tell us that it is not possible for world to process to better but to worse.

Source Text and Target Text Comparison The poem was translated into Turkish by Cevat apan with the title kinci Geli. The images and expressions discussed above were translated as following:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world The blood-dimmed tide is loosed Spiritus Mundi Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle Second coming Troubles my sight

Dne dne byyen anaforda Her ey yklyor, bel vermi ortadirek Kargaalk salnm yeryzne Ykseliyor kana bulanm sular Evrensel Ruh Sallanan bir beikte karabasana dnm kinci Geli Trmalyor gzm

In the first line, instead of using the word girdap, the translator preferred to use anafor. This word might have had a different effect on the readers. In the second line centre was translated as ortadirek. As the word ortadirek has different connotations in Turkish culture (an economic class in the society) the atmosphere might have changed and the impact might have different from the impact of original. Third and fourth lines can be considered to have the similar impact compared to the original. However, the Latin expression, Spiritus Mundi, could have been left as it is, because the expression Evrensel Ruh does not fully reflect the bare world image which has been loaded to this imagery. A cultural shift can be observed in the sixth line. The word karabasan is peculiar to Turkish culture. Therefore this might be a cultural shift. The other two lines were translated in a way that reflects the spirit of the source text.

In conclusion, being one of the most difficult (to understand, to interpret and to translate) poems, The Second Coming was translated into Turkish by Cevat apan in a way that reflects the general spirit of this magnum opus. There has been and will be discussions on this poem. Therefore, expecting an excellent translation would not be sensible. Regarding the dual characteristic of the poem, the translated piece is able to reflect the atmosphere of the original and it can be a good guide for Turkish readers through the way heading to poetic comprehension of this work.