Σοφια

I’m back!

Yesterday I attended a fascinating lecture by Karen Bassi on death in tragedy, put on by the Institute of Classical Studies, and I remembered just how much I love academia.

But, it has to be noted, I don’t always love academia. I’m sure many Classicists would scoff at the very idea of translating modern songs into ancient Greek, and dismiss such a venture as an example of the ‘dumbing down’ of serious subjects. But whatever. I’m enjoying it. So here’s my next one!

I chose this song as I wanted to see whether reading sophia as ‘wisdom’ rather than as a name would change its meaning. In fact, the term comes up only thrice, and in the same sentence pattern each time. We read, “now, wisdom, I am wounded by dust”, rather than “now, Sophia…” However, if we capitalise Σοφια, as I have done here, she becomes the goddess, the physical and womanly embodiment of wisdom. Which is perhaps similar to what Laura Marling had in mind.

I became aware during this translation that I was all too happy to have lyrics repeated, meaning a copy and paste cop-out by me. I was reminded of the Homeric usage of stock phrases, and the theory suggesting that the Iliad and Odyssey are littered with such repetitive phrases in order to buy the travelling bard time to remember his place in the tale.

I also became aware that I had a lot of notes on my translation, and that it might be worth doing a commentary next time…

Anyway, enjoy – and I invite all Hellenists to give suggestions/corrections!

 

‘Σοφια’ – Λαυρα Μαρλιγγος

ὦ δε ποὑ πεφροντικα δεδοκα·

οὐ φροντιζε περι ἀρτι ἡν.

οὐ περι ὁστινα μου δερμα ἐψαυκα

οὐ ὁστινα εἰακα·

αἰσχυντηλος γαρ νυν εἰμι και ὀφθαλμοις ταλαιπωρομαι.

κονι δε τραυματιζω

πας δε ποὑ πεφροντικα δεδοκα

οὐ φροντιζε περι ἀρτι ἡν.

οὐ περι ὁστινα μου δερμα ἐψαυκα

οὐ ὁστινα εἰακα·

ταλαιπωρος γαρ νυν εἰμι και ὀφθαλμοις ταλαιπωρομαι.

ἐνιοντε μεν καθιημι ἠ ἀποβλεπω

ἠ βλεποντες οὐκ φροντιζω·   

σπανιος μεντοι ὠν, ἐνιοντε δει δακρυειν.

κονι δε τραυματιζω

ὁποτε συμβαλλει

σου γυναικα αἰθηρι προσειπε·

Και κωδων ψαλλομενος πανυστατῃ ἡμερῃ

ἐν γονοις ἐσεσθε ἱνα εὐχῃ

καλη γυνη εἰμι, και οὐποτε περι τον ἐργον ὁν αὐθημερον ἐπρηξας ἐφη.

οὐκ τις γυνη ἡ μελλων ἀντιποιεισθαι ἀλλα ἐφης πραγμα ἡμερᾳ δικων ἐρχεσθαι

νυν Σοφια

κονι τραυματιζω

ὁποτε συμβαλλει

σου γυναικα αἰθηρι προσειπε·

Και κωδων ψαλλομενος πανυστατῃ ἡμερῃ

ἐν γονοις ἐσεσθε ἱνα εὐχῃ

καλη γυνη εἰμι, και οὐποτε περι τον ἐργον ὁν αὐθημερον ἐπρηξας ἐφη.

οὐκ τις γυνη ἡ μελλων ἀντιποιεισθαι ἀλλα ἐφης πραγμα ἡμερᾳ δικων ἐρχεσθαι

νυν Σοφια

κονι τραυματιζω

νυν Σοφια

Sophia – Laura Marling

Oh I have been wondering where I have been pondering
Where I’ve been lately is no concern of yours
Who’s been touching my skin
Who have I been letting
Shy and tired eyed am I today

I’m wounded by dust
All I have been wondering where I have been pondering
Where I’ve been lately is no concern of yours
Who’s been touching my skin
Who have I been letting
Tried and tired eyed am I today

Sometimes I sit, sometimes I stare
Sometimes they look and sometimes I don’t care
Rarely I weep, sometimes I must
I’m wounded by dust

When the bell toll, when the bell gon’ chime
You better call for your woman up high
And when the bell tolls for your last day,
You’ll be getting down on your knees to pray
I’m a good woman and I never did say whatever it was that you did that day
I’m not a woman that is going to place claim but you said that it was coming on judgement day

Now Sophia
I’m wounded by dust

When the bell toll, when the bell gon’ chime
You better call for your woman up high
And when the bell tolls for your last day,
You’ll be getting down on your knees to pray
I’m a good woman and I never did say whatever it was that you did that day
I’m not a woman that is going to place claim but you said that it was coming on judgement day

Now Sophia
I’m wounded by dust
Now Sophia

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