Quick and simple Spanish translation question…

I have two separate collections of poetry by Pablo Neruda and the poem “Puedo Escribir” appears in both books along with different translations by two different authors:

The original poem has the following words:
Escribir, por ejemplo: “La noche está estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos”.

As rendered by Translation 1:
Write, for example, "The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.

As rendered by Translation 2:
Write, for example, ‘The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

I realise the rhythm (in the second line) is really a matter of preference in the mind of the translator, but was curious as to which is seen as the ‘more correct’ interpretation (especially of the word estrellada) by native Spanish speakers in the first line. Thanks for any comments.

I’ve just had 2 Spanish girls here in the office look at it and they both said that Translation 1 was the best version regarding the first line.

Mm, I love this poem but, despite a pretty shaky knowledge of Spanish, I’d never looked for a translation. This line always read as something closer to Translation 1 for me (possibly due to the aforementioned linguistic limitations) - it seems to fit with the feeling of the poem more. IMHO “Shattered” jars as being too forceful an image. The poem is full of emotion but restrained and regretful rather than angry. (On the other hand, this line is a quote of what he could write so maybe I’m wrong.)

It would be interesting to know who did your translations (When ? Were they more acquainted with European or Latin American Spanish ? etc.). Some translators are able to work with the original author which means they are less likely to mis-interpret wildly.

It might be nice to have the line translated by some Spanish speakers without giving them any prompts to see how they would naturally ‘interpret’ the words.

Oops that was more of a Café Society than a GQ reply wasn’t it ? Sorry - still trying to get the hang of things.

Definitely number one. The translation uses the literal rather than the idiomatic use of the word estrellada. Being a non-native speaker, my gut instinct, too, would be starry, because shattered makes no sense in the context that’s available. Nights are “starry”; they’re not “shattered.” Again, this based on the context available.

So why does this word mean both? Take a baseball bat to some tempered glass – say your automobile windshield. It shatters, right? But all of the cracks separate kind of like rays from a star – hence, starry = shattered.