Friday, June 5, 2009

Lost in Translation

Word Count: 636

Emily Dickinson Poem #733 translated

Known as the soul of the ears
We hear
When we check.
Here is recognition.

Other services such as voice,
Ear hanging down
Including the palace, out
The rest have heard about

This poem was unintelligible to me in its original form.
Through translation it becomes even less understandable.
That's okay though, there are many things I don't understand:
God (but am I really supposed to understand?)
Song Lyrics (poetry I can interpret (usually) but songs baffle me)
College Kids (not to be confused with responsible adults) who (or whose parents) pay more money than I've made in the last four years, yet they do no work for the classes (and rarely show up)
Physics (why would a balloon fly to the back of a car when I slam on the brakes?)
Love (but it doesn't really matter; I can enjoy it without understanding why I do)
Apathy (again, a trait that I often show)
The Attitude of Old People (I don't want to live to be ninety-five and see everybody I've ever known die)

Lorine Niedecker page 245 translated

Neu Year's Day
in the vicinity of trees
My father left plant hours
the uniform

This poem did not quite make the transition back to English from Galician.
There is always a problem going from one mindset to another.
I took the pants off the frog because I didn't have any others. You took the pants off the frog? Yes, I took the pants off the frog.

Emily Dickinson Poem # 450 translated

Dreams of a good, but better than Wake
If you wake up one morning and
If one of the best to wake up at night
I dream of dawn

Dream Sequence:
In the middle of the night I awoke to an earthquake. My bed was shaking rhythmically. When I opened my bad eyes I saw a small creature at the foot of my bed. My glasses showed me Twix the bunny jumping from mattress to floor to mattress to floor to mattress to floor.
I dreamed a party of midgets. I was nude but nobody noticed.
We had three adorable blond children. The only problem is I'm a brunette and he's a redhead.
We tried taking a train to Chicago, but it left without us so we went back to my house. We sneaked upstairs, planning to hide out in my room, but my parents had rented it out in the hour we had been gone.
I tried to walk through dignified, but I never found my pants.
Clap, clap, clap, I'll eat your face.

The verbal poetry of G.G.
It's like a worm is a dirt licker and a fish is a water licker. What's under your uvula? Have you ever seen a lemur? That's like what a boyfriend would say. He's unlacing monsters? Is he not talking to a pastry now, after invoking the apocalypse? And now he's gonna boo the sun. He boos the sun. Jeepers, he's talking about a horse, right? He finds ugly on page thirty. Let's imagine a queen that's like drooling big time and she also has leprosy, so, like her arm is gone and her ear is falling off. I think of a dollop of feces. Do feces rot? I've never heard feces clink.

Lorine Niedecker page 142 translated

The first bomb snow,
Color the Christmas tree lights
Window, only the light of meditation

Somehow "along this road" became "The"
Poetry that has significance in one culture, one language does not necessarily have any intelligible meaning in another. While an English poem induces memories, feelings, intellect for us, in translation the emotion and connection is frazzled, becoming unclear and dim. There is a great use for poetry in society, but it needs to be understood.


No comments: