May-flower: Niespodziewajka

Pink, small, and punctual,
Aromatic, low,
Covert in April,
Candid in May,
Dear to the moss,
Known by the knoll,
Next to the robin
In every human soul.

 

Bold little beauty,
Bedecked with thee,
Nature forswears
Antiquity.

 

*****

 

Malutka jak kropeczka i różana,
Niewysoka, a rozpachniana,
W kwietniu tajemnicza,
W maju świetlista,
Hołubiona od mchów,
Znana od wzgórz,
Razem z rudzikiem
W każdej z naszych dusz.

 

Drobna a odważna piękności,
Tobą ozdobiona,
Natura wyrzeka się
Antyczności.

 

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE

May-flower can inspire creative translation. Usually spelled mayflower or may flower, it has potential about it, with the dash. As the final lines are

 

“Nature forswears
Antiquity,”

 

I translate the title as Niespodziewajka. The Latin epigaea repens denotes the trailing arbutus. The particle repens yet could also mean the unexpected: Perseus, repens2. Please also see candidus, for the Polish świetlista, shining: Perseus, candidus.

 

Further, human cognitive mapping is always in a way local. With Emily Dickinson, we can see it in the Sea of Sunset (Nature, XIII). The Yellow Sea is located in the Far East. However, it is the Yellow River to feed the waters, coming from — as geographically — the west. Vicinity becomes prominent also in the May-flower. We could say no human soul would know, meaning nobody round knows, hence w każdej z naszych dusz, in the translation. In Polish, każda ludzka dusza, literally, would imply every human being in the world.

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