Felix Coniunctio!

I’ve just found a fantastic verse translation of the Carmina Burana which I’ve never seen before. The translator, David Parlett, has this to say about his endeavour:

“The following translation of the songs selected by Orff are not intended to be word-for-word renderings. My object was to produce a version that would both reproduce the same metres and rhyme-schemes as the originals, which necessarily entails a degree of versifier’s licence, and be singable to Orff’s eminently singable tunes, which entails the avoidance of such complications as awkward consonant clusters and closed vowels on high notes.”

I’ve only ever seen literal translations before, which lack the extra emotional charge which the rhythm gives them – especially since such a large amount of the songs, let’s be honest, are about sex and boozing!


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