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Histories : A Poem

by charvaka


                          This is my translation of the poem Desa Charitralu(History of  Nations) by Srirangam Srinivasa Rao . Who was famous by his pen name Sri Sri. This is very famous work Sri Sri who has revolutionized Telugu poetry by breaking  chains of meter  and popularized free verse in Telugu. he was called Maha Kavi which means greatest poet. This poem is originally written on 10-04-1938 by Sri Sri . It was published in the collection poems called Mahaprasthanam(The Great Journey) which is an epoch making book in my mother tongue Telugu. He is my favorite poet. But nobody tried to translate his greatest work into English. So my ambition as writer is to translate Mahaprasthanam into english. This is the first step. THIS IS NOT A FINAL VERSION OF THE POEM. I WILL IMPROVE IT AS MANY TIMES AS REQUIRED.  

HISTORIES

Let us take history of any nation

Nothing is there to take pride in

The entire human history is,

History of mere oppression

~

The entire human history  is

A mere Mutual Exploitation 

The entire human history is,

 Bathed in blood of war

~

In nature, destructive

In form, demonic

The entire human history is 

Poor get downtrodden

~

Strong enslaved weak

Cut throats became kings

Brutes rose to power and

Famous they became in history

~

Nobody can find a country

Where a war never happened

Not even a single country

All the past is soaked in tears if not blood

~

Bonds which were broken

Families wrecked by endless war

Death of Masses, Screams of helpless

Are dwelling hidden deep in the history

~

Enmity, Selfishness

Conspiracy, Jealousy

With deception and with aliases

Decided the course of history

~

Alexander, Attila, Genghis khan,

Tamerlane, Mussolini, Hitler

Names are various but acts are same

Each is a one of a kind murderer

~

Vikings, White Huns

Scythians, Persians

Mongols and Thugs

Built a bridge to damnation

~

In the dark ages of ignorance and brutality

They were hungry and desperate,  just to live

They were led by mysterious forces

To survive the barbaric world

~

With only the thoughts of self interest

With the only dream to be lords of paramount

They started forming empires that are vast

They started creating laws that are synthetic

~

Down they fell like

The gazelle to lion

From the clash of powers

Born is history

~

Deception from ages

Domination of the strong

Ploys of the rich

There are outdated now!

~

The way of the world to let

One man exploits the other

One race exploits the other

Still..., no it’s over now

~

A Chinese Rickshaw Puller,

A Miner of Czech,

An Irish Sailor,

All the oppressed

~

Hottentots, Zulu, Negro

All the races over continents

Will shout as one

The historical truth

~

Reasons for wars,

Reigns of empires,

Dates and Documents

Are they the true history? NO!

~

A queen’s Romance

Cost of a Siege

Papers, Presentations and Thesis

Are they the true history? No! Never

~

All the stories that are hidden deep

In the Dark corners of History

Torn out pages,

Long gone legends

~

Forgotten they are

We need them now…

Aye we do need them now

Can truth be buried forever? No! Not forever

~

What was the life of a villager

In the great civilization of The Nile valley?

What was the story of the workers whose

Sweat and blood built the Great Taj Mahal

~

What was the valor of the commoner?

In the conquest of an emperor

We need, not the ruler who rides

But the slave who carries

~

In Taxila, In Athens

On the coast of Mediterranean

In Harappa, In Babylon

In the caves of the Cro-Magnon

~

What is the progression of man’s story?

In the dawn and dusk of history

What country? What time?

What is its ultimate achievement?

~

What sculpture? , What Literature?

What Science? , What art?

To what glory is this great journey?

What Dream? , What victory? 


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User avatar
1272 Reviews


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Reviews: 1272

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Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:34 pm
Rosendorn wrote a review...



Hello.

Seeing as this is a translation, not an original, I'll be reviewing it a little differently. You had an original base to work from, so you're very limited in terms of what you can do. But you can also have a lot of play with translations, and people do prefer different translations over others. I'm also bilingual, so I understand knowing two languages and the fun of getting it right across both.

The first thing I ever look at for translations is I try and figure out what the feeling of the poem is I have to get across. This keeps me from going a literal translation, and instead focusing on the adjustments I have to make to regionalize the words themselves.

Right now, it feels like the original feeling of the poem is lost. It bounced along and I could tell what the poem was supposed to make me feel— supposed to make me feel that everyone is evil, that no one culture is better than another, but the poem doesn't really have the regionalized aspect to it I look for in translations. Right now, there's emphasis and repetition that feels like it meant something in the original, but in the English version, it's lacking.

So that's my advice to you. Focus on the feeling first, instead of the words. Make sure you're translating the original intent instead of just the poem. Because right now, the feeling and heart is lacking. It's a good translation in the form it makes sense, but it's missing the true regionalization that makes for great translations.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

~Rosey




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Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:19 am
niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there charvaka! Niteowl here to review this poem!

First off, as a retired mod, I feel like I should explain one of YWS's rules regarding plagiarism. I noticed that in your description you said this was a translation of a famous poem in Telugu. Since it's your translation, it doesn't count as plagiarism, but I do think you need a more clear attribution in the work itself. Readers don't always see the description, so someone could easily get confused and report you for plagiarism.

Okay, now on to the review. Since I know this is a translated work, I'm going to focus less on the content of the poem and more on the structure and word choice.

The first major thing I notice is the punctuation. It's mostly lacking, and this makes it hard to read in English. In poetry, the rules for punctuation can vary from standard English, but this reads like a more narrative poem, so I would use standard punctuation. A good rule of thumb is to notice where you take a pause or breath, since that's probably where you want to put a comma or period. You can read more about the different types of punctuation in poetry here: Punctuation in Poetry

What was the life of a villager?

In the great civilization of the Nile Valley?

What was the story of the workers whose

Sweat and blood built the great Taj Mahal?

What was the valor of the commoner?

In the conquest of an emperor?


Here there's punctuation, but the question marks are on the wrong lines. The lines make a whole sentence, so the question mark should be at the end. I made some minor corrections in bold.

The human history is entirely

History of oppression merely

The human history entirely is

mutual exploitation merely

The human history entirely

Is bathed in blood from war


I feel like this section may benefit from less of a word-for-word translation and a little artistic license to get the message across better. What sounds beautiful in one language probably won't be if you translate literally to another, especially ones that are as different as English and Telugu.

Here, what I notice are the repetition of adverbs "merely" and "entirely". They're also at the end of the line, making them stick out even more. In English (I have no clue about Telugu honestly), adverbs are considered weak words, along with adjectives. When I write, I try to use more verbs and nouns to create a strong image in people's minds. The last line in this section does that...I can almost see the blood of centuries past.

If I were to rewrite this, I would cut down the use of adverbs to focus on the stronger words in the poem. I would also reserve the end-of line space for stronger words, the ones you want the audience to focus on. Maybe something like this:

Human history is oppression,
merely mutual exploitation.
The entire human history
is bathed in the blood of war.

That's just a suggestion, but I would think about what words you use, what order you use them in, and put your strongest words at the end of the line. I feel like I've rambled long enough, but if you want more advice, just let me know. Keep writing! :)




charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.



charvaka says...


Hi,
@niteowl,
Thank you very much for spending time to review my poem. I am very new to the English literature. I wrote mostly essays, speeches and very few poems (four) in English. I am more of a speaker than a writer. I joined this website to improve my writing skills. I have taken a liking to the community here at YWS . Everyone here is pretty awesome and friendly. You are generous @niteowl. You taught quite a few new things about English with your review. I do not know adverbs are weak words in English. In Telugu they are not very strong but strong enough and they rhyme. I am trying to learn meter recently. But I always write free verse. Your advice about punctuation is very useful for me. About the question marks i think it was MS Word's correction system. Instead of ignoring I might have selected corrections. Once again thank you very much for the review . Have a nice day.




When all think alike, no one is thinking very much.
— Walter Lippmann