Hello all, and welcome back for Day 16.
Today’s poetry-related link is Poetry International, which provides poems, both in their original languages and in translation, from all around the world. I’ve found it to be an amazing introduction to poets from other countries.
Today’s featured participant is Moon Junkee, where the superhero for Day 14 is Insomnia Girl. Don’t tell anyone, but that is who I turn into at night.
And now our (optional, as always) prompt. This is an oldie-but-a-goodie and it ties in nicely with our featured link! Today, I’d like you to write a “translation” of a poem in a language you don’t actually know. Go to the Poetry International Language List, pick a language, and then follow it to a poet and a poem. Generally the Poetry International website will present a poem in its original language on the left, and any translation on the right. Cut and paste the original into the text-editing program of your choice (and try not to peek too much at the translation). Now, use the sound and shape of the words and lines to guide you, without worrying too much about whether your translation makes sense.
For example, here are the first few lines of “Staden Glitrade,” by the Finnish poet Tua Forsström
Staden glittrade på avstånd, och
jag stannade. Det var så vackert med
anläggningar och terrasserade trädgårdar
I might translate this as:
Stadium trading glitter in the stands, our
jagged standard! There was so much made
of longing and of the tri-guarded tesseracts.
That might not make much sense, but it gives me some lovely ideas and images. Glittering stadiums, flags, shapes and desire. Those are some great ingredients for a poem!
Once you have your rough “translation,” you could leave it at that, or continue to shape the poem. It’s up to you. Happy writing!