It's fairly straightforward to translate prose and nonfictional prose (e.g newspapers, novels, nonfiction and notes), but poetry is another beast altogether.
I have been listening to a song, La Bala, by Ana Tijoux, for a few weeks now trying to interpret the minuscule details hidden in the poetry that is this song. My goal is to not only be able to translate this song, but rather to understand the underlying meanings and messages.
The first line of this song is what intrigued me. And especially the rhythm.
La pistola lo miraba fijamente bajo el manto brillo cromo de su veneno
If I were to translate this like any other sentence, I could come up with three possibilities.
The pistol stared below the shiny chrome cloak of it's venom.
or interpret a hidden subject.
He stared at the pistol below the shiny chrome cloak of his venom.
or instead of
The pistol was aimed below ...
Regardless, I cannot make literal sense out of the sentence. When I read it, in Spanish, I interpret the general idea that the pistol is something bad and... venomous. If someone were to ask me to tell them what it means in English, I would not know where to begin. This is poetry and it is not meant to be translated, I understand that.
The entire song is filled with nuances, but of all of the lines in it, the first one leaves me grasping for more meaning. More than just, ... the venomous pistol.
What is the meaning of shiny chrome cloak?