Why do i always feel a deep need to read more than one translation of any given text? more than one translation? four, five, six translations of the same text, of the same book...i dont recommend this...i m ever dissatisfied and never feel that i ve understood enuff of whatever i happen to be reading. so here is another translation of that poem from Holderlin that we recently read in class. this one is by Richard Sieburth from his versions of Holderlin called "Hymns and Fragments."
you noble deer
but in huts lives man and wraps himself in the shamed garment for more inward is more attentive to and so that he tends the spirit as does the priestess the heavenly flame this is his understanding. And that is why choice and higher power to err and to bring about is given to him to the one who is like god the most dangerous of possessions language so that he creating destroying and perishing and returning back to the eternal to the mistress and mother so that he begets what he is has inherited learned from her, her most Divine the all preserving love.
Read the two above translations and then read the one from class (by Michael Hamburger). Read the German (if you can)-- I almost said "the German original" but i stopped in my tracks...Over time and many readings, i ve come to understand that the original, if ever there was or is one, is alive only in Holderlin himself...and he, Holderlin, was the first translator of the poem.