3

I'm designing a condolence card with a German translation of Rime 194 (as the first verse) and Rime 190 (for the second verse) of the Michelangelo. The verses seem to have originally been part of the 50 epitaphs for Cecchino Bracci.
This verse combination and literary translation already exists, commonly used for obituaries and throughout the internet! However, I haven't been able to find a reliable source of who the translator was but would like to also give credit to him/her.

One website mentioned Sophie Hasenclever (who did translate Michelangelo's poems into German) but HalvarF found a different version of the verses in the digitised text of her translation pdf, p. 35/34, verse 14 and 12. Therefore it seems unlikely that she also wrote the version I'm looking for.

Rainer Maria Rilke and Herman Grimm (son to one of the fairytale collectors) also translated Michelangelo, in more recent times Michael Engelhard (in 1992) and Thomas Flasch (in 2000).

I am looking for someone who can prove the author (with a photo/excerpt from an official book, maybe the original German text with that translation, that mentions the translator).


Here is the translation I am referring to:

Es sandte mir das Schicksal tiefen Schlaf.
Ich bin nicht tot, Ich tausch(t)e nur die Räume.
Ich leb in euch und geh in eure Träume
Da uns, die wir vereint Verwandlung traf.

Ihr glaubt mich tot, Doch dass die Welt ich tröste
Leb ich mit tausend Seelen dort an einem/diesem wunderbaren Ort
Im Herz der Lieben. Nein, ich ging nicht fort,
Unsterblichkeit vom Tode mich erlöste.

(It is possible, that this version has been changed a bit throughout its time on the internet.)


I know it's a very specific question but I also don't know a better forum for it. It's about one specific German translation of world literature and would probably go under in the international Literature Stack.
As a motivation: During my own research I discovered that this question has engaged people and been unanswered since 2011 (at least in internet forums).

Thanks for all your effort :)

4
  • Welcome to German Language SE. Unfortunately you seem just to ask for the author of a given translation. That the target language is German is not sufficient to make the question on-topic here. You may compare here: "German Language and Usage is a bilingual question-and-answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language." Where do you see your question fit into this?
    – guidot
    Jul 20 at 10:09
  • 1
    It's hard to translate something that is not available. You first links sends one to google's image search (I don't think an image of Michealangelo will help to translate) and the second link send you to a huge pdf-document (16,4 MB with 458 pages) with Italian and German poems. Also note, that German.Stackexchange is NOT a translation service! Jul 20 at 10:14
  • 2
    @guidot I know this question is very unusual (if it was easy I wouldn't have asked in the first place) and therefore hard to choose a fitting site for it. Which forum would be better suited for it? I noticed that people here seem to also discuss about literature and I was already a stack exchange member and thought this was the most fitting stack of all Jul 20 at 11:18
  • 6
    @HubertSchölnast What makes you think that OP is asking for a translation? Did you even read the question?
    – Olafant
    Jul 21 at 5:01
2

I can't tell you the translator, but look at page 34/35 in your Hasenclever pdf, verse No. 12, it has a different translation of the second verse. Same for the first verse, No 14, on the following pages.

Italian version:

Qui vuol mie sorte c'anzi tempo i' dorma:
Nè son già morto: e ben c' albergo cangi,
resto in te vivo, c' or mi vedi e piangi;
se l'un nell' altro amante si trasforma.

Qui son morto creduto; e per conforto
del mondo vissi, e con mille alme in seno
di veri amanti: adunche, a venir meno,
per tormen' una sola non son morto.

Hasenclever's German translation for those reading this who are interested:

Hier schlummr' ich ach zu früh, doch wähnet mich
Nicht todt, ich tauschte nur mein Haus auf Erden;
Da ineinander die verwandelt werden.
Die Liebe eint, so leb' ich fort durch dich!

Man glaubt mich todt, der ich gelebt zum Frommen
Der Welt, im Busen tragend tausend Seelen,
Die mich geliebt; wie kann mir Leben fehlen,
Da Eine Seele nur der Tod genommen?

Maybe your translation is Rilke? It seems like quite a poetic translation, and he did translate some Michelangelo. Just a speculative idea.

2
  • Wow, thank you very much. Yes, you found the right poem (I thought Hasenclever had omitted it, seems I messed up searching the doc) so we know she didn't write the version I was looking for. Very cool and a good hint!!! Jul 20 at 15:12
  • I hadn't known that the German version consisted of 2 separate rhymes/verses, that are even switched in order and don't appear back to back in the original text. Jul 20 at 15:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.