THE COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF PHONIC AND RHYTHMICAL PECULIARITIES OF THE FREE VERSE BY WALT WHITMAN AND ITS TRANSLATIONS INTO THE RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN LANGUAGES
Yelena Yevich, Yelizaveta VaravaINTRODUCTION
Urgency. There is a valid claim that vers libre most solidly entered Russian literature owing to translations of Walt Whitman's poetry. But in the history of Russian literature there were earlier treatments of free verse in poetry. For example, taktovik meter appears in Russian epics, rhymed stressed verse in early asyllabic poetry, and free verse in Old Slavonic liturgical verse. Nevertheless, verset is closely connected with the translations of “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman [1, 8, 21, 22, 45, 47, 48].
“Beat! beat! drums!” - one of Walt Whitmen’s most sensational verses, the first one translated into the Russian language, is characterized by abruptness, innovation, thirst for freedom of speech . The verse “Beat! beat! drums!” was written by Walt Whitman during The American Civil War in 1861-1866, when the poet worked as a volunteer-orderly in the Union Army. The verse’s phonic system is based on drum reproduction with the help of tone-painting and some special rhythm. Many interpreters got interested in the verse including Russian and Belarusian ones. Therefore there are a lot of translations which express the rhythmical and phonic peculiarities of the original verse in different ways.
We noticed that Drums and Bugles “sound” differently in Walt Whitman’s verse and its translations. We wondered what rhythmical and phonic means were used by the poet and translators to express the sounds of drums and bugles in different cultural-linguistic traditions: English, Russian and Belarusian ones. So, we carried out a comparative analysis of the original verse and its translations written by Ivan Turgenev, Konstantin Balmont, Korney Chukovsky, Mikhail Zenkevich, and Yanka Sypakow (Appendix 1).
Object of research - the texts of the verse “Beat! beat! drums!” by Walt Whitman and its translations into the Russian and Belarusian languages.
Subject of research – the rhythmical and phonic structure of the images of drums and bugles in the compared texts.Purpose of research – finding out phonic and rhythmical peculiarities of the representation of “drums and bugles” in the verse “Beat! Beat! Drums!” by Walt Whitman and its translations into the Russian and Belarusian languages.The following major tasks were accomplished to achieve the above-stated purpose:
1. To define the rhythmical features of Walt Whitman’s verse and its translations.
2. To reveal the structure of the central image of Bugles and Drums and its transformation in the translations with the help of structural syntax.
3. To compare the rhythmical and phonic means of making the sound images of Bugles and Drums in six texts (drums and trumpets, the horn): assonances, alliterations, and the interior rhythm of the verse.
Methods of research. The analysis of the central image of Bugles and Drums was held on the basis of the structural syntax developed by Lucien Tesnière . The rhythmical and phonic peculiarities of the poetic texts were carried out with the help of the structural-semiotic system (Yuri Lotman) who regarded the text as a system of symbols [26, 27]. The elements of the statistical analysis were used for the quantitative processing of the results.
Practical value. The results of the rhythmical and phonic structure research can be used for translating poetic texts where rhythmical and phonic organization is one of the methods of making an artistic image. The results of the research can be also used in class while analyzing a text, as the combination of rhythmical and phonic structure analysis of a text with its semantic and syntactic level helps to heighten the objectivity of its interpretation.
Words of gratitude. The investigation is carried out within cooperation with “The Walt Whitman Archive”, the project of The University of Nebraska Lincoln, and The University of Iowa, the USA. We are grateful to the organizers of the educational project “The Walt Whitman Archive” for the given archival materials and personally Yelizaveta P. Renfro for the annotation of our research.
1. WALT WHITMAN IN RUSSIAN LITERATURE
OF XIX CENTURY
Walt Whitman first came to Russia in reviews with few quotations. The first article about Whitman's poems appeared in the January edition of "Otechestvennye zapiski" ["Notes of the Fatherland"] of 1861, and its author was certain that the work was not poetry but a prose novel. In a review of foreign novels he writes: "English critics are strongly opposed to the American novel 'Leaves of Grass' by Walt Whitman, who in his time was recommended by Emerson" [1, 22].
After this mention it was only in 1882 in V. Korsh's "Zagranichnii vestnik" ["Foreign Messenger"] that there appeared a translation of a lecture by an American journalist John Swinton about the literature of the United States of America that devotes to Whitman the following lines: "Walt Whitman is the cosmic bard of 'Leaves of Grass.' There are two completely contradictory opinions about him: some maintain that he is a charlatan and others that he is the most original genius. He belongs to the old type of American workers. For him life is an endless celebration, and he looks like a gigantic intoxicated Bacchus. For him all the sights are picturesque, all the sounds are melodious, all the people are friends. In England among admirers of Whitman are the greatest contemporary minds. In Germany he is known among learned men of letters more than any other contemporary American poets" [1, 22].
In 1883 in the same "Zagranichnii vestnik" ["Foreign Messenger"] there appeared a more detailed article about Whitman, N. Popov's "Walt Guitman [sic]," with poorly translated quotations.
In 1872 I.S. Turgenev took such an interest in the poetry of W. Whitman that he made an attempt to translate into Russian several of his poems and sent some of them to E. Ragozin, the editor of "Nedelya" ["Week"]. Turgenev wrote about this to his friend P.V. Annenkov: "To Ragozin instead of an extract from 'Zapiski okhotnika' ['A Sportsman's Sketches'] I will send a few translated lyric poems of the remarkable American poet Walt Whitman (have you heard of him?) with a short foreword. It's impossible to imagine anything more striking" (letter of 12 November 1872) .
However, these translations did not appear in "Nedelya" ["Week"]. But ninety-four years later, one manuscript of Turgenev's kept in the National Library was identified as a draft of a translation of a well-known poem of Whitman's written in 1861.
This discovery was made by I.S. Chistova, a researcher at the Pushkin House of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. She published Turgenev's translation in the journal "Russkaya literatura" ["Russian Literature"] .
The Turgenev text represents a rough draft or, more likely, a word-for-word translation. Therefore, we cannot hold it to high standards. There is some reason to believe that in subsequent versions Turgenev attempted to come nearer to the rhythmic structure of the translated text.
2. THE RHYTHMICAL FORM OF WALT WHITMAN’S VERSE “BEAT! BEAT! DRUMS!”2.1. Rhythmical forms of artistic speech
Before we get down to analyzing the rhythm of Walt Whitman’s verse let’s examine a great number of variation forms of contemporary poetry. We also would like to explain at once that the rhythm of a poetic text is based not only on the alternation of stressed and atonic syllables but on some other measures of repetition: syntax parallelism, the anaphora, the epiphora, alliterations, assonances, the rhyme, the interior rhyme, a number of accents between pauses, etc.
In the theory of literature two opposite forms of artistic speech are distinguished: prose and poetry where verse libre is a transitive link between them.
An artistic speech stream can be divided into parts and pieces both logically and rhythmically. The groups of words which the speech is divided into by logical pauses are called logical tacts. The group of words which the speech is divided into by rhythmical pauses but not logical ones are lines [31, p. 76-77]. The borders of the logical tact and the line may not coincide. The reason for such a variety of forms in the rhythmical organization of artistic speech runs in this contradiction of its rhythmical and logical division.
Picture 1. The rhythmical forms of artistic speech
Relying on the research made by V. Burich, A.Zhovtis and V.Kupriyanov and basing on the correlation of the logical tact and the line as the classification of the rhythmical forms of artistic speech we marked out four polar forms of artistic speech: conventional poetry, prose, verse libre and verset [12, 18, 30, 33, 43] (Picture 1).
If a rhythmical organization is based on a logical tact, it is prose. If it is based on a line, it is called vers libre. A pause in the end of a line marks it out as an intonation-rhythmical unit. There are such forms where both of these principles exist, but one of them depends on the other. If a line dominates and a logical tact depends on it, we call this conventional (traditional) poetry (syllabotonic, tonic, syllabic). If a logical tact dominates over a verse line, it is verset. Verset cannot be any kind of syntax vers libre as verset is based on clear division into logical tacts and lines. In our opinion, the majority of the verses from “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman were written in verset.
2.2. The genesis of Walt Whitman’s verse line
Walt Whitman is one of the founders of a free verse. He searched for the ways of diverging from the traditional rhythm and rhyme in order to invent a verse which would be “free like breath”. For the sake of it he regulated a text with other methods.
The biblical theory of the genesis of Walt Whitman’s verse line was developed by William Sutton . It is guided by Whitman’s statements about the wishes of founding a new Bible and by his understanding a poet’s role as a prophet. Really, Walt Whitman wanted his book to become a new Bible of the new democratic century. He imitated the style of the English interpretation of the Bible of XVII century, so-called King James’s interpretation, together with the rhythm. The lines of his free verse are organized with numerous parallelisms, anaphoras, they are syntactically closed and sound like rhetorical prose.
Let’s carry out a comparative analysis of the verse “Beat! Beat! Drums!” and of the IV chapter of the poetic book of the Bible “The Songs of Songs”, which the author of “Leaves of Grass” knows as “The Song of Solomon” due to the translation of the XVII century . We will analyze the structure of the texts in order to find any parallelisms in it.
According to the number of members and the correlation between them the following types of syntax parallelism are distinguished [24, 25, 44, 49]:
simple syntax parallelism (S), where a syntax construction with two phrases cycles,
polynomial syntax parallelism (P) where an index means a number of members), and where a construction cycles in several phrases,
multi-stage syntax parallelism (M), where the parallelism of subordinate parts is seen inside simple parallelism.
Sometimes one or a few parts of simple or polynomial syntax parallelism are spread by subordinate members of a sentence. We will define such parallel constructions with the help of the extended parallelism (S(E) or P(E)). Differently an extenden parallelism is called incomplete or latent (Yu. M. Lotman, R. Jakobson, I. A.Logvinenko).
In the first two line verses of the biblical book we can see some parallel constructions :
1 a)…thy hair is a flock of goats,
b) that appear from mount Gil’e-ad. (4:1)
2 a) Thy teeth art like a flock of sheep,
b) that art even shorn,
c) which came up from the washing,
d) where of every one fear twins,
e) and none is barren among them. ( 4:2)
The first phrase is related to the part a-b of the second phrase by simple syntax parallelism. In the second line the parallel construction spreads, so we can say about deployed syntax parallelism.
3 a) Thy two freast art like two young roes,
b) that art twins,
c) which feed among the lilies,
d) until the day break
e) and the shadows flee away. (4:5)
The whole second line is related to the third one by absolute parallelism. The subordinate parts of the second and the third line are also parallel related, that is why we can speak about multi-stage parallelism. We do not see such cases in the structure of the two following phrases.
4 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,
with me from Lebanon:
look from the top of Amana,
from the top of Shenir and Hemon,
from the lion’s dens,
from the mountains of the leopards. (4:8)
The fourth line is polynomial multi-stage parallelism.
Thus, the text “The Song of Solomon” has all the kinds of syntax parallelism.
In the concerned Walt Whitman’s verse, 19 out of 21 lines are included in parallel constructions of different structure. We found 5 simple parallelisms (S), 3 simple extended ones (S(E)), 3 -polynomial extended ones (P(E)), 1 multi-stage extended one (M(E)). The structural diagram of parallel constructions of the verse “Beat! beat! drums!” can be displayed in the following way (the numbers of the lines are indicated in the square brackets):
1 strophoid: S , S , S(E) [3-4], P3(E) [5-7]
2 strophoid : S , S , 0, P3(E) [3-4], P3(E) [5-6], 0 
3 strophoid : S , M(E) [2-6], S 
The interior structure of multi-stage extended parallelism in the third strophoid looks like that: P7(E) [2-6], S .
I.M. Dyakonov marks special metrical structure of the Jewish tonic verse line [20, p. 254-266]: the lines of “The Song of Solomon” are divided by a clear caesura into hemistiches with a definite amount of accents and syllables. The accentual diagram 3+2, 4+3, 2+2, 3+3, 4+4 and the syllabic diagram 9+6, 9+7, 8+6 are the most frequent. The syllabic combinations were fully lost while translating them into English. But the accentual combinations remained in King James’s translation.
Walt Whitman reproduces the rhythm of the English translation of the Bible uniting the pieces between the caesuras into long and extra-long verse lines, which are sometimes like the whole biblical irregular stanza. The accentual diagram of the concerned text looks like this:
3+3 // 2+2+3 // 3+2 // 2+3 // 4+7 // 3+2+2+2 // 2+2+3
3+3 // 3+4 // 5+6 // 4+3+3 // 3+4 // 4+4 // 2+2+3
3+3 // 3+3 // 3+4 // 4+3 // 5+3 // 5+5 // 2+2+3
As could be seen from the calculation, 81% of the lines (17 out of 21) are constructed according to the accentual diagram of the biblical text.
So, we compared the rhythmical structure of the verse “Beat! beat! drums!” and the biblical book “The Song of Solomon” in King James’s translation of the XVII century and came to the conclusion that Walt Whitman used all the kinds of syntax parallelism, rhythmically similar catalogue enumerations, which were peculiar to the Bible, to organize an irregular stanza. Tonic accentual diagrams of the biblical texts are frequent in the rhythm of the verse.
3.THE COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PHONIC
AND RHYTHMICAL PECULIARITIES
OF THE VERSE “BEAT! BEAT! DRUMS!”
AND ITS TRANSLATIONS
3.1.The central structure of the images “bugles” and “drums”
and its change in the translations
We defined the central image of the verse and its structure relying on Lucien Tesnière’s structural syntax . He notes that together with linear syntax, namely the order of item sequence in a sentence, there is structural syntax namely the hierarchy of items. The structural order is multilevel as each conducting element can have some subordinate ones. The center of a sentence is a verb (the predicate). The verb describes an act or expresses a small drama. Together with the verb there can be subjects (actants) and circumstances of place, time, way etc., where a process starts (circonstants). Verbs have different numbers of actants. There can be no subject together with a verb; in this case it’s a non-actant (impersonal) verb. Subject is the first actant. Object is the second actant. An object due to which an act is done is the third actant. The ability to join actants is named the valence of a verb.
Every conducting element which has one or several subordinate ones creates a node. Tesnière defines the node as a unit totality consisting of a conducting word and all those words which are subordinate to it directly or indirectly. He binds them together. Tesnière introduces the notion of semantic cores. The core is a unit which contains a syntax node as well as all the elements for which the node is a material support and which the node is connected with by semantic connection.
Another notion of structural syntax is important to us. Metataxis is the modification of a syntax structure while translating from one language into another which is caused by the language grammar.
Lucien Tesnière says about some indistinct border between the third actant and a circonstant, when a circonstant is expressed by a noun with a preposition. It means that the same noun with a verb can be both a third actant and a circonstant. It depends on a communicative situation. One more means of transition in structural syntax is transmission. The essence of transmission is the transformation of notional words from one grammatical category into another namely the transformation of one class of words into another. We used Tesnière’s term in order to introduce our own notion which is relevant only to artistic texts, - artistic transmission. According to our observations, artistic transmission is the process when a circonstant, expressed by a noun with a preposition, has features of the second actant. For instance, compare “scatter the congregation” with “burst into the solemn church, into the school”. In respect to artistic semantics the element “into the solemn church, into the school” has the features of the second actant –the object of the action, too. We can observe the very same with the element “the congregation”. It’s very important for the description of a central artistic image in different verses. In terms of syntax it’s a circonstant at the same time.
On the basis of structural syntax we defined that “bugles” and “drums” are general actants for many predicates of the original text. We reached the conclusion that semantic cores of the predicates with the first general actant, circonstants of these predicates and the attributes of the first general actant make the structure of the central artistic image. The tables of the syntax structure of the central images in Whitman’s verse and the translations after Ivan Turgenev (1871), Konstantin Balmont (1906), Korney Chukovsky (1967), Mikhail Zenkevich (before 1958), Yanka Sypakow (1978) are displayed in Appendix 2.
In Walt Whitman’s text the central artistic image is defined by the first general actant “bugles” and “drums” in the plural for the predicates – imperatival verbs burst, scatter, leave not, blow, make no parley, stop for no expostulation, let not be heard, mind not, make to shake, rattle, whirr, pound, thump, circonstants of the predicates like a ruthless force, shrill, wilder, loud, fierce, quicker, heavier, strong and by the attributes of the general predicate terrible.
The image’s syntax structure undergoes some changes when translating it into the Russian and Belarusian languages, which is caused by the syntax peculiarities of the languages:
1) The substitution of the first actant and the inflection of its number. Ivan Turgenev and Yanka Sypakow keep the first actant “bugles” and “drums” in the plural, Mikhail Zenkevich and Konstantin Balmont do it partly. Chukovsky introduces an extra image of rataplan; Balmont introduces the image of the horn. Zenkevich translated “bugles” with the word “горны” literally. The other translators did it with the word “трубы”.
2) The increase of the predicates. In the original the predicate “burst” is used as a general predicate for several actants:
Through the windows -- burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation,
Into the school where the scholar is studying…Ivan Turgenev uses this predicate anaphorically several times:
Сквозь окна, сквозь двери - врывайтесь, подобно
Наглой силе безжалостных людей!
Врывайтесь в торжественный храм и развейте
Врывайтесь в школу,
Где ученик сидит над книгой…
Yanka Sypakow and Mikhail Zenkevich rethink and multiply the predicate “burst” by three other predicates: “уварвіцеся”, “выбухніце”, “грымніце” and “врывайтесь”, “нарушьте”, “прервите” accordingly.
В окна, в двери, повсюду насильно врывайтесь,
В храмах нарушьте богослуженье,
В школах ученье прервите…
Праз вокны, праз дзверы ўварвіцеся з неўтамоўнаю сілаю,
Выбухніце ў царквах урачыстых і раскідайце ўсіх, хто там моліцца,
Грымніце ў школах, дзе вучні ціха сядзяць над падручнікамі…
Konstantin Balmont changes and multiplies the predicate “leave not” («не давайте покоя», «возмутите») as well as Mikhail Zenkevich («несите весть», «дайте знать»).
Leave not the bridegroom quiet -- no happiness must he have now with his bride,
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his grain.К. Balmont:
Жениху не давайте покоя: не время теперь быть с невестой;
Возмутите мирного пахаря, который пашет и жнет...
Несите весть жениху, что не время для счастья с невестой,
И фермеру дайте знать, чтоб оставил он мирный труд…
3) The increase of the number of attributes. Whitman employs only one attribute of the first general actant “terrible” and one actant “thump” that is subordinate to it:
So strong you thump O terrible drums…
The author does it intentionally because descriptive attributes, unlike verbs, reduce the tempo of the speech and make it more static.
In the translations the amount of attributes varies from zero to several ones. Mikhail Zenkevich, for example, did not use any attribute while translating it, but replaced them by a circonstant:
Так грозно грохочете вы, барабаны, так бурно рокочете, горны!
Ivan Turgenev and Korney Chukovsky increased the number of attributes.
Так гремишь ты, беспощадный грозный барабан! так трубишь ты, громогласная труба!
Turgenev doesn’t just use new attributes but introduces new actants - «раскаты», «возгласы», «удары», which are subordinate to the core one:
Так сильны и нагло ужасны ваши трескучие раскаты,
о барабаны! - так резки ваши возгласы, о трубы!
Оттого сильны и пронзительны Ваши удары,
о грозные барабаны,
так громки Ваши возгласы, о трубы!
It is very interesting as almost every time the translator varies the actant, at the same time Bugles and Drums remain the core actants. The thing is that together with the presence of subordinate actants there is appeal to the core one.
3) The structural change because of metataxis. We noticed that in the original the predicate becomes a circonstant or an independent predicate in translation, which is caused by Russian and Belarusian grammar. These phenomena are marked with “M” in indexM in the texts of Yanka Sypakow, Ivan Turgenev, Konstantin Balmont.
All the сirconstants are left except the phenomenon of metataxis. By the way each translator kept and took Walt Whitman’s сirconstant “like a ruthless force” into account.
Yanka Sypakow: «з неўтаймоўнаю сілаю»; Ivan Turgenev: «подобно наглой силе безжалостных людей»; Mikhail Zenkevich: «насильно»; Korney Chukovsky: «как лихая ватага бойцов»; Konstantin Balmont: «с неумолимою силой».
Thus, the structural and syntax borders of the central image of the original text and its translations were defined in this paragraph. The next stage is to carry out the comparative analysis of rhythmical and phonic ways of its depicting in different texts.
3.2. Rhythmical means of creation of the image of “bugles”
and “drums” in the original and its translations
In paragraph 2.2 we described the accentual diagram of the verse “Beat! beat! drums!” We reached to the conclusion that the biblical texts influence the rhythm of Whitman’s verse. However we consider it inappropriate to carry out the comparison with the accentual diagrams of the translations, as Russian and Belarusian translators would have to be guided by the Slavonic text of the Bible. The Slavonic accentual diagram is totally different from the English one.
The sound image of “bugles” and “drums” is expressed by a special rhythm. We made rhythmical diagrams of the first irregular stanzas of six texts and came to the conclusion that the rhythmical pattern of the original stands out due to the absence of the unified measure of repetition, and by the dominant number of stressed syllables. Especially it concerns the first and the seventh verse lines where nearly all the syllables are stressed – in this way Whitman depicts rataplan:
Beat! beat! drums! - blow! bugles! blow!
So fierce you whirr and pound you drums – so shrill you bugles blow.
Picture 2. The rhythmical diagram of the first stanza of the verse by Walt Whitman
A great number of stressed syllables speak about abruptness and resolution. The emotional challenge is emphasized by a secret dialog, motive to an action, a large number of questioning constructions. We can accent a considerable portion of negatives: “no”, “nor” and “not” which emphasizes a protest.
The Russian and Belarusian translations sound quieter and slower because of the different mid length of a word in both languages: an average Russian word is three times as long as an English one.
Picture 3. Rhythmical diagram 1 of the stanza
in the translation by Ivan Turgenev, 1871
Ivan Turgenev lost the rhythm greatly in his translation. Reading the text in the original we hear determined response to act whereas in the translation the lines are lengthy without clear sound of drums. As the draft shows, Turgenev's work on the translation was far from complete. One can only assume that translating the poem gave Turgenev great difficulty. This is explained by the unusual rhythmic form (for Russian poetry) of Whitman's poems. The translator perceived in the original the utilization of different classical poetic meters in very complicated combinations within the length of the line between the two caesuras. That is why the Russian text strives for a more regular rhythm.
Turgenev perceived Walt Whitman’s syntax parallelism as a way of interior organization of an irregular stanza and left it in his translation. Parallelism was typical of Turgenev himself as it is often met in Turgenev’s prose poems.
The text is interesting in that at the time of its creation the specifics of free verse were not defined by theorists, so the translator had to decide on his own how to render it in Russian. Balmont chose for this an arrhythmic tonic line which sometimes becomes ternary meters. Since in the original there is not a single rhythm-producing factor. One can notice that from abrupt “march” the verse was turned into perfect rhythmical “waltz”.
The first translations of some poems, executed by K. Balmont, appeared in the journal "Vesy" in 1904. Two years later in the same journal K. Chukovsky wrote about this attempt: "Mr. Balmont does not have a feel for the language from which he is translating. In three lines of translation he made five egregious errors, and thanks to these errors, created a testimonial to Whitman greatly departing from the original" [47, p. 43].14376401270K. Chukovsky (1967)
Yanka Sypakow (1978)
00K. Chukovsky (1967)
Yanka Sypakow (1978)
Picture 5. Rhythmical diagram 1of the stanza
in the translations by K. Chukovsky and Yanka SypakowWe inquired about Chukovsky’s first translation of “Beat! beat! drums!” made in 1919 (Appendix 1). Since then he tried to translate this text 9 times, as he confessed. The first translation was created as if Chukovsky argued with Balmont who translated Whitman’s free verse in a rhythmical manner. Although Chukovsky’s early translation is really far from the original, smaller in volume and doesn’t reproduce the contents at all, the dialogue, free rhythm, protest and challenge are exactly expressed and the rhythmical peculiarities of spoken speech are even exaggerated.
However we consider it incorrect to analyze this text deeper as its imperfection was admitted by the translator himself so he tried to improve it many times. But we consider it important to note the following fact. In his translation Chukovsky divides the text into shorter lines in order to convey abruptness and how quickly the image develops. In our opinion the main principle of the rhythmical organization of the text is a verse line, but not a logical tact. Thus, we can see syntax vers libre but not verset which contains longer periods of speech.
Chukovsky in the translation of 1967 and Yanka Sypakow strive to convey the rhythmical and phonic peculiarities as correct as it is possible. They don’t use any rhythmical pattern while translating the text and add more accents to the line. So, we can see a free verse, verset, where rhythmical “rataplan” and melody are kept.
3.3. The phonic means of creation of “bugles” and “drums” images
in the original and its translations
Now we’ll examine the phonic means of creation of “Bugles” and “Drums” image in the verse. As we’ve already noticed Walt Whitman managed to express exactly the resolute “drum” atmosphere, its protest. But it’s interesting what sounds were used to convey the sounds of drums and bugles. And what is important - how the translators coped with the expression of such effect with the help of other languages? As it has been already said, Russian words are totally different from English ones because of the amount of syllables.
The sound image of Bugles and Drums is created with some special phonic means. Whitman describes the sounds of bugles and drums with the help of the alliterations of the plosive consonants [b], [t], [d], which make up 17% sounds.
Beat! beat! drums! - blow! bugles! blow!
Different translators find their own way out of the situation. K. Balmont, K Chukovsky and Michail Zenkevich convey the roll of drums (but not beat or rataplan, as it is in the original) with the alliterations of the bilabial trill [р], [р’] together with the plosive sounds: [тр], [др], [гр] (in Chukovsky’s translation they make up 12% all the sounds).
Громче ударь, барабан! - Трубы, трубите, трубите!
Гремите сильней, барабаны, громче, сильнее ударьте!
Резкие трубы, трубите! Звучи нам, призывный рог!
Скорей же, скорей, барабаны, раcсыпьтесь гремящею дробью!
И пусть пахарь забудет о мирном труде, не время пахать и собирать урожай,
Так бешено бьет барабан, так громко кричит труба!
Бей! бей! барабан! - труби! труба! труби!
Над грохотом юрода, над громыханьем колес.
Греми же, барабанная дробь, кричи, надрывайся, труба!
Так гремишь ты, беспощадный грозный барабан! так трубишь ты, громогласная труба! (K. Chukovsky)
Так грозно грохочете вы, барабаны, так бурно рокочете, горны!
The poet describes the impetuous whistle, which goes together with the sounds of bugles and drums crashing into the windows and doors, with the alliterations of sibilants:
Through the windows - through the doors - burst like a ruthless force.
K. Balmont and K. Chukovsky introduce the alliteration of [в] in the same line:
В окна и в двери ворвитесь… (K. Balmont)
В двери, в окна ворвитесь, как лихая ватага бойцов. (К. Chukovsky)
I. Turgenev, M. Zenkevich and Y. Sypakow manage to create a similar effect with the combination of the alliterations of [в] and sibilant sounds:
Сквозь окна, сквозь двери – врывайтесь, подобно… (I. Turgenev)В окна, в двери, повсюду насильно врывайтесь… (M. Zenkevich)
Yanka Sypakow amplifies the effect of impetuosity with the affricates [ц’], [дз’]:
Праз вокны, праз дзверы ўварвіцеся з неўтаймоўнаю сілаю…
In Whitman’s verse the sounds of drums are opposed to peaceful sounds. The gentle alliteration of [p], [f], [s] expresses the sound of ploughed soil:
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his grain.
The peaceful and sleepy atmosphere is described by the sounds [p], [f], [s], [t], [h], [z]:
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? no sleepers must sleep in those beds.
K. Balmont, M. Zenkevich and Y. Sypakow use similar sounds:
Постели готовы для спящих, чтоб спать эту ночь в домах?
Не надо, не нужно, чтоб спящие спали в постелях своих (K. Balmont)Кто стелет постели для сна? Никто не уснет в них ночью! (M. Zenkevich)Хто там пасцелі ўзбівае, мякчыць перад сном? Нікому не ўдасца ўначы паспаць у гэтых пасцелях (Y. Sypakow)
Y. Sypakow was so engaged in the tone-painting that introduced some new alliterations in order to convey the sounds of peace. The consonance of the plosive voiced [б] expresses the effect of talk especially together with the lateral fricative [л]:
Хіба яшчэ балбочуць балбатуны?
The domination of sibilant and palatalized unvoiced consonants describes the singer’s woolly voice, when he doesn’t manage singing:
Хіба спявак спрабуе спяваць?
The effect of deafened cry is created with the contrast of the alliterations of the hushing, sibilant sounds, affricates on the one side and the trill [р] on the other side:
Заглушыце сваім шумам (крык дзяцей, рыданне матак).
The thunder of bugles and drums, crashing into the quiet rustle of textbooks, is conveyed with the contrast of the combination of the trill [гр] on the one side and the fricative [ш], [х], [с’], occlusive-fricative [ц’], [дз’],[ч] on the other side:
Грымніце ў школах, дзе вучні ціха сядзяць над падручнікамі!
W. Whitman uses contrasting transitions of assonances to create the sounds of bugles and drums: the emotional high, vivacious, in the view of phonic symbolism, [а] ([Λ], [a:], [au], [ai]), [i] ([i], [i:]) are suddenly replaced with the emotionally low, anxious [о] ([o], [o:], [əu], [oi], [ε:]), [u] ([u], [u:]) and on the contrary. 71,5% of the text (15 lines out of 21) are based on the contrast of these assonances.
Beat! beat! drums!-blow! bugles! blow! (i-i-a-o-u-o)
Through the windows-through the doors - burst like a ruthless force…
So fierce you whirr and pound you drums-so shrill you bugles blow.
It’s interesting to notice that the words characterizing bugles and drums contain the low, lengthy sounds [о], [u], but those which connected with drums – the abrupt, vivacious [i], [а]. K. Balmont uses this method and Y. Sypakow bases on the contrast of assonances:
В школу, где учится юноша, силою звуков ворвитесь… (о-у-у-и-у-и)
Пронзительно, трубы, трубите! Звучи нам, призывный рог! (и-у-и-и-ы-о)
С воплем трубите нам, трубы! Звучи нам, призывный рог! (о-и-у-и-ы-о)
Голос ребенка да смолкнет, зов материнский да смолкнет, (о-о-о-о-и-о)
Ждущие похорон трупы – пусть вздрогнут даже они... (у-о-у-у-о-а-и)
Выбухніце ў царквах урачыстых і раскідайце ўсіх, хто там моліцца.
Грымніце ў школах, дзе вучні ціха сядзяць над падручнікамі! (ы-о-у-и-а-у)
Бо шалёна і гулка б’юць барабаны, і ўтрапёна трубы гудуць.
Над гулам гарадоў вірлівых, над грукатам колаў на вуліцах…(у-о-и-у-о-у)
Thus, we have analyzed the verse “Beat! beat! drums!” by W. Whitman and its translations into the Russian and Belarusian languages and defined the rhythmical peculiarities of the texts, revealed the structure of the central image “bugles” and “drums” and its transformation in the translations with the help of structural syntax, compared the rhythmical and phonic means of making the sound images of Bugles and Drums in six and reached the conclusions:
The verse “Beat! Beat! Drums!” is written in the form of verset with the features of syntax vers libre.
In the Russian and Belarusian translations Whitman’s verset is conveyed as the non-rhyming tonic verse (Balmont) as a complex combination of different sizes (Turgenev), as syntax vers libre (Chukovskii’s first translation), as verset (K.Chukovsky, M.Zenkevich, Yanka Sypakow).
The inflexions of the syntax structure of the image of bugles and drums in the translations are:
- the inflexion of the first general actant-the multiplication of the predicates
-the increase of the attributes
- the structure’s inflexion due to metataxis.
4. In the original the sound image is created with the alliterations of [b], [d], [t],with plenty of stressed syllables in the dismetrical verse. The bugle’s image – with the help of the contrast of the emotionally high [a], [i] and emotionally low [o], [u].
5.The sounds of bugles and drums have a contrast with the peaceful sounds. In the original the sounds of peace are expressed with the alliteration of [p], [f], [s], [t], [h], [z].
6. The translators save these phonic phenomena or find their own equivalents, or introduce some new ones keeping the general phonic basis.
The poet-translators’ attention to original poetry of Walt Whitman influenced the development of Russian and Belarusian poetry. The works of some Russian Futurists, Cubo-Futurists, Ego-Futurists bear a clear mark of Whitman's poetics. At the beginning of his literary life Velimir Khlebnikov was strongly under Whitman's influence. Khlebnikov borrowed from Whitman the structure of the poetry as well as many ideas in "Zverinits". For example, the idea that "the gaze of an animal means more than piles of read books" is repeated many times in the poems of Leaves of Grass.
A group of Cubo-Futurists were drawn to Whitman in common hatred of conventional aesthetics and the gravitation towards a "natural," "unpolished" poetic form. In St. Petersburg's Ego-Futurism there was a definite cult of Walt Whitman.
Vladimir Mayakovskii was interested in the role of Whitman as a destroyer of literary traditions and a creator of his own original principles of poetry.
Yanka Sipakow translated Walt Whitman’s verse into the Belarusian language in the 70s of XX century. Yakub Kolas, Sh.Yadvigin, Maxim Goretskiy, Zmitrok Byadulya, Yanka Bryl and others referred to the philosophic and social verset. Verset (“vershakaz”) became one of the main form of creativity for Ales Ryazanov.
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