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literature

Jahresreimer - Baba Yaga

RetSamys's avatar
By RetSamys   |   Watch
9 19 499 (1 Today)
Published: August 17, 2015
Jahresschreiber (11/52): Weltenwochen: Asien
Baba Yaga

Seit Jahrzehnten hab’ ich Ruhe
In meiner Hütte tief im Wald,
Doch da kommen fremde Schuhe
Zum ersten Mal davor zum Halt.

Blicke auf den Fremden schwer,
Eine ganze Weile lang.
“Kamst Du aus eig’nem Willen her?
Oder kamst Du unter Zwang?”

“Mütterchen, Du bist betagt,
Wirst nicht noch viel älter sein.
Der Regen hat mich hergejagt.
Gebe mir Dein Brot, Dein Wein!”

Mein neuer Ochse frisst zwar viel,
Erspart mir aber schwere Last.
Ich mache fern vom Wanderziel
Gern auf seinem Rücken Rast.

Seit Jahrzehnten hab’ ich Ruhe
In meiner Hütte tief im Wald,
Doch da kommen fremde Schuhe
Zum zweiten Mal davor zum Halt.

Blicke auf den Fremden schwer,
Eine ganze Weile lang.
“Kamst Du aus eig’nem Willen her?
Oder kamst Du unter Zwang?”

“Mütterchen, Du bist ergreist.
Ich dagegen bin nicht nicht alt.
Man hat mich aus dem Land verweist.
Mach ein Feuer, es ist kalt.”

Ich wollt’ schon immer eine Katze
Und jetzt hab’ ich endlich eine.
Sie schleicht umher mit sanfter Tatze,
Streift wärmesuchend meine Beine.

Seit Jahrzehnten hab’ ich Ruhe
In meiner Hütte tief im Wald,
Doch da kommen fremde Schuhe
Zum dritten Mal davor zum Halt.

Blicke auf den Fremden schwer,
Eine ganze Weile lang.
“Kamst Du aus eig’nem Willen her?
Oder kamst Du unter Zwang?”

“Mütterchen, die eig’nen Füße
Brachten mich in dieses Wäldchen.
Ich wünsche Dir die besten Grüße.
Ich bitte um ein Schlafensplätzchen.”

Der neue Gast ist wirklich nett.
Das Feuer fütter’ ich mit Scheiten.
Er bekommt ein weiches Bett,
Ich werde Essen zubereiten.
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Baba Yaga, die slavische Hexe, die je nach Geschichte gut oder böse sein kann. Oder beides. Es gibt da andere Aspekte, die bei ihr normalerweise hervorgehoben werden, ihr Haus oder der Stößel und der Mörser, ich wollte aber etwas, womit ihre Gut-Böse-Ambiguität zum Vorschein tritt, also die Frage, ob eine Person aus freien Stücken zu ihr gekommen ist. Es gibt natürlich nur eine richtige Antwort.

English translation

For decades now, I've had my peace
In my hut deep in the forest,
But then I hear the sound of shoes
And they stop right in front of it.

Staring heavily at the stranger
For a whole while
"Did you come on your own free will?
Or were you forced?"

"Gammer, you count many days
And you won't count many more.
The rain chased me here.
Give me your bread, your wine!"

My new ox eats a lot,
But it carries me many a burden.
Far from my travel destinations,
I like to rest on his back.

For decades now, I've had my peace
In my hut deep in the forest.
A second time, I hear the sound of shoes
And they stop right in front of it.

Staring heavily at the stranger
For a whole while
"Did you come on your own free will?
Or were you forced?"

"Gammer, you have grown old.
I, however, I'm still young.
I have been expelled out of my country.
Make me a fire, it is cold."

I've always wanted a cat
And now, I finally have one.
She sneaks around, soft-pawed,
Looking for warmth around my legs.

For decades, I've had my peace
In my hut deep in the forest.
A third time, I hear the sound of shoes
And they stop right in front of it.

Staring heavily at the stranger
For a whole while
"Did you come on your own free will?
Or were you forced?"

"Gammer, my own feet
Brought me to this forest.
I bring the best wishes.
I hope for a resting place."

The new guest is really nice.
I feed the flames with wood.
He gets a soft bed
And I will prepare some food.

Die Jahresschreiber ist ein Schreib-Challenge, mit dem man sich ein ganzes Jahr lang jede Woche zum Schreiben bringen kann. Auf dem Blog der Lesenische erschien jeden Mittwochmorgen ein neues Thema, bis die 52 Wochen abgelaufen waren.

Die gesammelten 52 Werke werde ich später zusammen veröffentlichen, die (etwas) besseren Ergebnisse lade ich jetzt nach und nach extra hoch.
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    I don't think I have done something like this before, but I will do my best to offer some tips on how to make a more fully fleshed out backstory along with some tips as to how it'll connect with your characters in an emotional and psychological level, mostly for the creepypasta fandom, normally for the more human type of characters.    If you want your character to be a troubled person that has suffered abuse in the past, you'd have to make it as believable and realistic as possible. As in why were they abused? As we all know, abuse just doesn't come out of nowhere. Yes people in the world are assholes but normally there's a reason for a
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Comments (15)
Luna-the-Zekrom's avatar
Luna-the-Zekrom|Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Hi!  I’m here from :iconprojectcomment: to give you some constructive criticism.  Unfortunately, I can’t speak German, so I’ll have to critique the English translation instead.  I hope that’s okay!

Overall, I really enjoyed your writing.  The repetitive structure of the poem gives it a musical quality that I think contributes a lot to its impact as a whole.  The syllables are rhythmic and very pleasing to the ear.  You did a great job translating both the meaning and meter; I think it’s especially difficult to translate poetry because you must consider the structure in addition to the literal meaning, but your poem doesn’t lose any of its auditory beauty in translation.

In addition, the ambiguous quality of the narrative makes it especially captivating.  Despite the vague diction, however, your implicit meaning was clear.  I like how you didn’t directly state Baba Yaga’s identity at all within the poem, leaving the title to speak for itself.  Your interpretation of the character is very interesting to me, particularly the way she returns the last visitor’s kindness.  Also, your choice of a first-person perspective is fitting considering the insight the poem gives into her personality.

I know a critique is supposed to discuss the negative as well as the positive aspects of a piece of artwork, but to be honest, I can’t find any obvious flaws to point out.  While the ending is a little abrupt, I don’t think it needs anything else.  The poem has made its point concisely and artfully, without any weakness in the execution.

The only thing slightly lacking is the diction of the English translation, which I think is a little off in some places.  Considering the need to maintain the rhythm (which I discussed earlier), however, I personally would leave most of it the way it is if it were my own writing.  However, I do think that “for a long while” might be a better substitution where you have “for a whole while” in line six and that line seven should read “of your own free will” rather than “on your own free will”. 

Overall, though, I was impressed by the fluidity of your translation and the depth of the poem itself.  I enjoyed it a lot and I hope my critique was helpful despite my inability to understand the original text.  If any part of my comment was unclear, please let me know and I’ll do my best to clear it up for you.  Keep up the excellent work!

Reply  ·  
RetSamys's avatar
RetSamys|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you - both for the comment and the :+fav: Fave!

Oh, that's OK for sure! It'll make me concentrate on other things, because the translation does not try to stay true to the artistic style. I tried to keep it close to each verse while conveying the same meaning.

I'm glad that you like the repetition, because I like that too. In fact, I plan to make it an integral part of my poems in the future based on how much of an impression it makes on me as the writer.
I might have spent more time on the translation, but it wasn't intended as a standalone thing, so unless I want to publish a more finished translation as its own Deviation (which I might do one day and your comment would influence it greatly), I won't try to make it much more presentable. But it's good to hear that it works the way I intended it to, maybe even better.
I'll definitely consider your points about the translation and I'll make a few adjustments soon-ish.

I was worried about the ambiguity. I still am. Not everyone knows about Baba Yaga. But I can't make it less subtle, it wouldn't be the same. The only thing I could do is adding some other visitor, rapping, rapping at the witch's door... just to get the point across. I thought it would make the poem bloated.
I don't think that I stand alone in my interpretation of her ambiguous character. But it's always fun to see what people come up with.
I know a critique is supposed to discuss the negative as well as the positive aspects of a piece of artwork, but to be honest, I can’t find any obvious flaws to point out.  While the ending is a little abrupt, I don’t think it needs anything else.  The poem has made its point concisely and artfully, without any weakness in the execution.
:blush: Aw. :blushes: Thank you! That's very nice! And thanks again for the comment as a whole. It was very nice to read your thoughts about this.
Reply  ·  
Luna-the-Zekrom's avatar
Luna-the-Zekrom|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!  Again, I apologize that I couldn't critique the original text.

I understand your concern about the ambiguity, but I don't think it's too much of a problem.  Allusion always comes with the risk that some of your readers might not understand it, but I've seen other poets use it as a main focus without an issue.  Besides, references usually go right over my head, but I do know of Baba Yaga, so that has to count for something, right?  :D
Reply  ·  
RetSamys's avatar
RetSamys|Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I can't ask you to learn German, can I? =D

It might be different with my target audience. :shrug:
Reply  ·  
Readeroffate's avatar
Baba Yaga is definitely someone I would like to cover someday. Good job.
Reply  ·  
RetSamys's avatar
RetSamys|Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you and thanks for the :+fav:! She's fascinating material. You should.
Reply  ·  
Readeroffate's avatar
I definitely will, I'm just waiting for the perfect time.
Reply  ·  
JenLaFayette's avatar
JenLaFayette|Hobbyist General Artist
Comment Featured By Owner
Definitiv eine ganz andere Baba Yaga von der mir als Kind erzählt wurde, mit ihrer Hütte auf Hühnerknochen tief im Wald :D
Das Gedicht ist wirklich wunderschön und spiegelt die zwei Seiten der alten Hexe wirklich super wieder!
Das Reimschema ist durchgehend gut eingehalten, der Duktus ist klasse, nichts unterbricht den Lesefluss.

Wirklich, eine gelungene Arbeit :star:
Reply  ·  
RetSamys's avatar
RetSamys|Hobbyist General Artist
Oh ja, von ihr gibt es definitiv sehr viele Versionen. Je mehr ich von ihr lese, desto verschwommener wird das Bild... aber bestimmte Dinge bleiben irgendwie gleich. Sie scheint sich an Regeln zu halten. Sie ist angsteinflößend mächtig, aber sie zeigt es nicht, bevor es fast zu spät ist... Aber am besten mag ich es, wenn sie weder gut noch böse ist und fast schon passiv massive Veränderungen wirkt.

Vielen Dank! Ich wünsche frohes Gruseln zum Monatsende. ;-)
Reply  ·  
ShinjiIkariEarRape08's avatar
ShinjiIkariEarRape08|Student Traditional Artist
I think it would be really cool if I could understand this a little bit more than just to recognize these words I'm seeing and trying to guess.
Reply  ·  
RetSamys's avatar
RetSamysEdited |Hobbyist General Artist
Ah! Of course.
Here's a translation:

For decades now, I've had my peace
In my hut deep in the forest,
But then I hear the sound of shoes
And they stop right in front of it.

Staring heavily at the stranger
For a whole while
"Did you come on your own free will?
Or were you forced?"

"Gammer, you count many days
And you won't count many more.
The rain chased me here.
Give me your bread, your wine!"

My new ox eats a lot,
But it carries me many a burden.
Far from my travel destinations,
I like to rest on his back.

For decades now, I've had my peace
In my hut deep in the forest.
A second time, I hear the sound of shoes
And they stop right in front of it.

Staring heavily at the stranger
For a whole while
"Did you come on your own free will?
Or were you forced?"

"Gammer, you have grown old.
I, however, I'm still young.
I have been expelled out of my country.
Make me a fire, it is cold."

I've always wanted a cat
And now, I finally have one.
She sneaks around, soft-pawed,
Looking for warmth around my legs.

For decades, I've had my peace
In my hut deep in the forest.
A third time, I hear the sound of shoes
And they stop right in front of it.

Staring heavily at the stranger
For a whole while
"Did you come on your own free will?
Or were you forced?"

"Gammer, my own feet
Brought me to this forest.
I bring the best wishes.
I hope for a resting place."

The new guest is really nice.
I feed the flames with wood.
He gets a soft bed
And I will prepare some food.
Reply  ·  
ShinjiIkariEarRape08's avatar
ShinjiIkariEarRape08|Student Traditional Artist
But it's cool :)
Reply  ·  
RetSamys's avatar
RetSamys|Hobbyist General Artist
From the words alone? That's nice to hear. And very interesting. Which words did you recognise?
Reply  ·  
ShinjiIkariEarRape08's avatar
ShinjiIkariEarRape08|Student Traditional Artist
This was some interesting writing btw ^^
Reply  ·  
ShinjiIkariEarRape08's avatar
ShinjiIkariEarRape08|Student Traditional Artist
Like very little so here it is: Ich, du bist, zum ersten Mal, seit, Jahrzehnte, er bekommt ein, Bett, essen, kamst du aus, oder kamst du unter, ich wollt' schon immer eine Katze, gebe mir Dein Brot, es ist kalt, und man hat mich aus dem Land.
I mean I only know so much really like how to count to 999,999, read a Little bit of Basic German, speak a few sentences in German, say colors, talk about basic weather, I know the rooms of a house(mostly), the furniture that's around in a house, what clothes are, a little bit of navigation, how to say hi and bye, and probably say what I'd like to order in a restaurant and say where I'm going to(whether a place or thing).
like I said, I have very little knowledge, and I'm only a second year student. Only I'm not able to take a third year because of other classes in the way. I probably know a bit more, but I forgot :/
Reply  ·  
anonymous's avatar
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