Lo,I have, this very day, while buried in the depths of the Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, completely finished my prose translation of Judith! It’s been a year’s worth of work, painstakingly accomplished alongside dissertation research, conference presentations and travel, various academic workshops, poem writing, poem reading, teaching, and linguistic study – both the process of translating and the actual translation itself have proved invaluable to the poetic adaptation of Judith that I’m creating, and I don’t mind saying that incredibly pleased it’s been completed at last. In celebration, I bring you the ridiculously awesome video below, and a preview of my translation of the prayer Judith prayers before she beheads Holofernes. I’ll speak much more about my adaptation/translation project in April, for National Poetry Month (which is technically a US thing, but I like to remember the customs of my people here in this new land).
Creator God heaven’s guardian
I cry to you for compassion.
My heart is grown heavy,
swollen hot with sorrow’s poison.
Give me a charm for this grief.
What words will banish fear?
What herbs will weaken sorrow?
I have no spell for what holds me still.
Holofernes waits like a hungry wolf —
I must seem like such easy prey.
He will fall to my hand, or I will fall to his:
this is the way of fate.
What I ask of you Maker of All,
is only this:
a hero’s mettle, a warrior’s strength of mind.
….and now for something completely different. 🙂