Welcome back, all, as we round out the third week of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020!
Our featured participant today is The Word Tinker, which delivers us a lovely ode to a finger-knit scarf in response to Day 20’s “handmade gift” prompt .
Today’s poetry resource is the archives of Poetry International, where you’ll find poems from all over the world, both in their original languages and in translation.
Today’s optional prompt asks you to make use of today’s resource. Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a “homophonic translation” on it. What does that mean? Well, it means to try to translate the poem simply based on how it sounds. You may not wind up with a credible poem at the end, but this can be a fun way to step outside of your own mind for a bit, and develop a poem that speaks in a distinctive voice. As an example, here are the first four lines of a poem by the Norwegian poet Gro Dahle:
Linnea ligger syk under treet
‒ Oj oj oj, hvisker treet
Og treet lar sine blader falle
Det store treet, det snille treet
Based on the sound alone, I might translate this as
Lithe lines sink under the street.
Oh, that wintry street.
Oh, street of signs like falling blades
A street of shops and smiles.
It’s not really a poem yet, but I certainly have created some odd and interesting images and ideas to play with.