A God's Labour


Some time ago G., a reader of mine and frequent visitor to this site, a sadhika who is based in France and whose knowledge of the English language is very limited, referred to this poem of Sri Aurobindo as to one she was particularly fond of, whatever may be the loss in translation.
Having been appreciative of my efforts at translating the epic “Savitri”, and also the short poem ‘The Mahatmas”, she went on suggesting that I perhaps ought to try and offer a new translation of this one too.
The main problem, I remarked, was that this particular poem, as many others written by Sri Aurobindo, is rhymed and, therefore it will be nigh impossible to render it with the same delightful rhythm in the French language. Sri Aurobindo himself would have to write it directly – another “original” - in the French medium…
However, it became an exercise we could together attempt to do and we went into it with measured hope.
After a number of back and forth suggestions and corrections and adjustments, we came to a point where there did not seem to be a chance of further improvement.
And so, here it is: a joint offering of this treasure to the French readers…

Le labeur d'un dieu