Hann. Münden, Hessen, September 2011
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Nature has always been a fountain of inspiration for poets, painters, photographers and lovers. Many of these inspirations have resulted in poems, paintings, photographies and love or deception stories.
That is the case of the German poet Carl Natermann that in the year 1899, wrote a poem that would later be crafted in stone and mounted so that everyone that visited the birth of the Weser River would have a chance to read about it.
Original Version by Carl Natermann
Wo Werra sich und Fulda küssen
Sie ihre Namen büßen müssen,
Und hier entsteht durch diesen Kuss
Deutsch bis zum Meer der Weser Fluss.
Hann. Münden, d. 31. Juli 1899
English Translation by Roberto Gallegos
Here where the Werra and Fulda kissed
A penance with their names had to be payed
And so arised from this kiss
German till the sea a river by the name of Weser
Nice isn’t it? Well it was another stone with another metal plaque that called my attention. Just aside from this emblematic poem, a Bulgarian writer by the name of Nedko Solakov found another kind of inspiration in this “kiss” and wrote and incredible short story that on the year 2000 was also immortalized in stone and metal. By the title The Disappointed River here is the translation:
My dear traveler, please take a look at the Fulda River (on your left).Does it not seem deceptive, unhappy with its flowing water so tired? Yes, she is, and I’ll tell you why.
The beloved letters F, U,L, D and A have been completely neglected in the Werra fusion. As you can see, these letters do not appear on the new name of the river: Weser. The poor FULDA could only be represented with it’s letters. And so in her own election she chose to be included in the new word with the letter S. The S replaces one of the two R’s in Werra. Why S might you ask? Well the S-curves resemble the sad letters F,U,L and D in the pleasant forms which are drawn in the spring of the FULDA. There where those letters are still lively streams. The FULDA sensitive to this situation of abuse of fate, because she worked so hard for so many centuries to get here and it seems like it was all in vain, began to help merchants to protect at least her peace of mind. In those days, merchants had to pay high taxes and stable costs for carrying merchandise and goods to the city Hann.Munden. Surprisingly those terrible taxes were used to build fine houses on the banks of the rival River Werra. For that reason she decided to smuggle some products on her waters- a small action in retaliation to this injustice.
The two A ‘s of the Fulda and the Werra were also very dissatisfied with this fusion. Imagine ignoring the first letter of the alphabet in such a brutal way!
But the A’s got a small compensation. They reached an agreement and now appear at the beginning of the name of a beautiful German city somewhere in the west … *
By: Nedko Solakov
Traduced by: Roberto Gallegos
I like to think that nature still has a lot to inspire to those who know how to translate it’s stories.