Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Gregor waded into the depths, beginning his recitation of Goethe as he spied the dual divas of the reef.

"The water rushed, the water swelled, a fisher sat on shore..."

No amphibian femme could resist the tones of that poem, even transplanted from its Teutonic nuances. They turned in his direction.

"...out of the moving waters flowed a lady of the deep..."

Despite the softened sounds, the guttural decadence remained in all its tempting implications. They were listening.

"...she sang to him, she spoke to him, why do you tempt my kind..."

Yes, this was his favorite poem of seduction. It never failed to intoxicate the gaze, or to senusalize the sighs of his female listeners. His audience hovered almost within reach, watching him intently.

"...if you but knew our blissful life, our comfort here below, you'd dive to us, just as you are, and with us you would flow..."

Learn one poem well, he had always believed, and with it you can sooth her into succumbing. Always.

"...does not the glowing sun partake as does the moon of me..."

It will even work on several girls at once, each of the playful natures outdoing the next in daring and precociousness. He noticed their smiles shining through the brine.

"...his heart beat faster yearningly, as for his dearest's kiss..."

That passage, and the image of pleasures to come, always whisked his breath away, and now was no different. Underwater, however, was not the optimal place for this to occur. He'd already breathed quite heavily during the recitation, and now the tank had no breaths left to surrender. His delivery faltered abruptly. He began waving his arms, signaling frantically to the water divas. But his sign language was foreign to them. Confused yet playful, they repeated some gangsta signs they had seen at a beach party, but he no longer saw. His final thought faded with the closing passage -

"...she drew him in, he sank to her, was never seen again."

Story #351

Gerard has written his own story to this picture - it turned out really great!

The poem I used here in my own (partial) translation is Goethe's "The Fisher" - I made my translation before reading any others. This page shows the German original, and links to five different English translations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Still another translation by Emily Ezust may by found here. Which one do you like best? My favorite is the Zeydel translation, but each poet excelled with different passages.

28 comments:

viruswitch said...

I like it! Great story along with the poem and a tragical end to contradict.

Indeterminacy said...

Thanks Viruswitch!

I may not have translated enough of the original to make it clear that the poem's end was also tragic. It's about a mermaid luring a fisherman to his watery grave.

Maybe I should add:

"She drew him in, he sank to her, and was never seen again"

Indeterminacy said...

On second thought, the original poem only seems to end tragically. It might also be a happy end. I's all a matter of interpretation.

Jamie Dawn said...

Gregor needed to even out his eradic, heavy breathing.
His life depended on it!

viruswitch said...

Yes, when I read the poem alone, I thought that the fisher magically joined the mermaids in their world and lived there.

Indeterminacy said...

But I think you can read Goethe's poem that way.

weirsdo said...

Well, you can, but there's a long tradition of siren and elven lurings that end badly.
Anyway, love the translation (haven't checked the others yet). I saw the end a mile away, but enjoyed getting there none the less. I like the twist that he thinks he's luring them.
Goethe is one of Dr. Weirsdo's favorites.

Indeterminacy said...

You saw my ending coming? I must be slipping. ;-)

Actually, I cheated with the translation by only using parts of it, and not the entire poem. The translations I linked to are all good in their own way, they recreate the meaning, while preserving the poetic flow/rhyme, something that's missing from my version. But since I didn't post it all, it probably looks better than it is.

Doug said...

And, in the end, isn't every poem about drowning in a sea of love?

ariel said...

no, Doug, that's the middle of the story, the end is usually that one or both touch land and go on their separated ways happily.

Indie, poet and scientist, why is the girl on the left still full dressed?

Doug said...

Ariel, now you see why I always quit reading in the middle. I like my lovers cyanotic.

ariel said...

perversion in love is only a question of common agreement, Doug.

Indeterminacy said...

Doug: That is profound. But I think sometimes it's an ocean, or a pond, or river. Or even a puddle.

Ariel: Because not all wishes come true.

The Mushroom said...

Even underwater, people feel the need to do the "Charlie's Angels" gun-in-hand pose? Hmm.

Indeterminacy said...

Hey Mush: Actually it's extremely rare to find any kind of underwater photos. This was the first time I've found some ever. But the Charlie's Angel thing is a bit more common.

I won't be able to post again until Friday. Sorry.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Nice

Goethe - interesting.

I interpret the ending as only tragic...but that's me.

Antonia said...

'The translations I linked to are all good in their own way, they recreate the meaning, while preserving the poetic flow/rhyme, something that's missing from my version'


I agree with that....it would be nice if one culd look at them like if they would lay on another on transparent paper and each shimmering through the next....the more translations the better, they enrich the whole thing...
nice what you did...

its_baxter said...

yes. thank you for linking me :) and thanks for the compliment!

Mutha said...

"Learn one poem well, he had always believed, and with it you can sooth her into succumbing. Always."
Man...a mastered poem as a pick-up tool...now that's sneaky trick and/or a brilliant way to get laid...depending upon the community one tried to spring such a tool, it could be like shooting fish in a barrel...ooops didn't mean to say "fish".

one said...

i didn't think he'd drowned...wish i wouldn't have read the comments.

*hello...again* climbtozero.blogspot.com

scar said...

girgle girgle

the cloned corpse of marcus tal said...

Curious and curiouser,

An interesting read as ever.

Kind Regards

Gerard valz said...

I think I've got one for that picture, Indie, since it's quite longuish I wrote it on my blog first and will post it on yours if you agree.
I like underwater pictures, I didn't have time for Goeth but I like the poem you quote.

Indeterminacy said...

Alice: I always expect or interpret the worst when I read something. Tragedy usually works better than a happy end, because it's a realistic reflection of life. Not that many happy ends around. P.S. I've already added enough books to your reading list. You can add Goethe after you've read some of the others.

Antonia: Sometimes I've compared two different translations of the same book, to decide which one I liked best and would read. The translator can make or break a text.

Its_Baxter: You're welcome. I'm just happy you contributed your stories these past weeks. Hope you'll have time this weekend, too ;-)

Muth: My trouble with girls has been that I didn't know any poems by heart, except one I wrote myself, and that wasn't much help. But I know if a girl recited a poem to me, it would be very hard to resist...

One: You could imagine any ending you like. Just because I wrote the story doesn't mean it has to end how I think it ends. (P.S. It was nice of you to stop by - we visited each other's blogs a long time ago, but I think I lost your link - I've added it now in my sidebar, so I ca´n't lose it again!

Scar: Those shoes look familiar!

Marcus' Corpse: Thank you. By the way, you're keeping quite well for a corpse. What's your secret?

Gerard: Of course I agree. I'd be honored if you would like to repost a story here. I can also add a link to it in my post.

Gerard valz said...

ok there goes/
Fate
Michael switched off the O-light drive and checked the oxygen tanks, 0.19 read the scale and an orange warning light kept blinking on the panel, it was very low, breathing would be hard
pretty soon, in four or five hours it would be the end and he had to admit he was lost.
He switched the planet-search on and the board computer lit a row of green lights as to say:
“working on the subject”. Mike sat in front of the command panel and sank in the seat.
There was little hope for survival, when O-light drive screws up it brings you just anywhere,
not anywhere in the neighborhood but anywhere millions of light years in any directions you started from, lost. There was 1/100 000 of a chance to be near a planet you can live on.
“I might as well stay here” >>------->”Wonder if they’ll find me in few thousands or millions of years”>>----------> “All dried up” >------------>”If they find me”>>-------> “ Ever”
He forced himself to sleep.

A ringing bell drilled his ears until he awoke and the first thing he noticed was the row of green lights blinking on the panel. “ Holy Mama ! How can that be ? No kiding “
Mike clapped his hands and since it was the signal for Mary 1 to speak out,she did :
“ Nice of you to let me speak,Mike, thank you very much”
“AAWWW c’mon, you bot, tell me what’s going on, Hurry”
“My instruments found a Terra-like planet, about two standard hours N-drive away”
“Can I survive that long?”
“It’s highly possible but there is little chance we’ll have time to choose a good landing spot”
“Can’t you just parachute me down there?”
“Yes, that’s what we should do, but you will land very approximately anywhere”
“Geee ! that’s good news. Can we do that now?”
“Well, if you get G suit,parachute and strap down on your seat, we’ll be on our way”

When Mary 1 ejected him in the planet’s upper atmosphere, Michael could feel the air flow around his body as he plunged toward it’s surface,two standard minutes later he oppened his first brake parachute, that slowed him to 120 mph in 30 standard sec, he looked down and realized that he had an ocean under him so he striked the second brake parachute open and started to drift with the wind. He opened his main sail few seconds later and then he could travel with and against the wind,he chose to go with the wind at first. The wind pushed him
Eastward rather fast but all he could see was blue waters as far as he could see, he swinged
to the north and kept scrutinizing the ocean and ten std.min. later he spotted an Island about
twenty miles North-East. “ Almost in reach” he thought “ Let’s do our best”.

The best he did was about to lead him some one or two miles short of the island and he was hoping there were no big predators lurking in the blue waters beneath, it seemed that luck
was on his side; a small raft was floating near by,so he drove his sail in that direction and untied his chute to drop in the sea close to the raft.
His dive brought him deep underneath but the water was warm and he had time to take off his G-suit and heavy gear before swimming back to surface.

Lua and Shila heard the loud splash when Michael hit the water and they both saw him go down, Lua was the first to react, turning to face her younger sister, she spoke in signs “It’s a male” Shila answered “ He’s coming back up,hurry Lua”
Lua seeing Mike passing by had just the time to take off her short and swim fast to him; she wrapped her arms around him while her sister pulling off the male’s pants from underneath
extracted his sexual organ to direct it in her sister’s vagina, she managed to do this just before they all reached the surface.Lua took mike’s head in her arms and with an expert twist broke his neck which freed the seminal liquid that invaded Lua’s womb and she felt it.
“aaahh”. It was mating season.

~River~ said...

Indie,
This was rather clever. Now, who can find fault with Goethe?

Indeterminacy said...

Thank you River. Answer to your question: Mrs. Goethe?

Princess Haiku said...

This one is very original and does relate to my current post. Very oceanic.