Tuesday, April 16, 2013

PAD Day 16

Just a quick note to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to all the folks in Boston who were killed, maimed, or traumatized by those horrific bombs yesterday.  I spent a year living in Boston in the 1970's and my home was only blocks from where it occurred.  Let's hope that great city heals quickly and the culprits are brought to justice.

Today's prompt from NaPoWriMo is an exercise that I believe is called "translitic" poetry.  You take a poem  in a foreign language that you don't know, and "translate" it into English based on visual, and perhaps sound, cues only.  I've always found this to be a difficult and frustrating prompt - I struggle with it and end up with something half-baked that makes little sense.  Today is no exception, though after a second draft perhaps something is beginning to take shape.  It's still pretty surreal and only semi-sensical though. Here is the original and my "transliteration". Note that I took  a few liberties with word order, syntax, etc., but that's fair game in this exercise, especially once you start revising.

I wasn't able to reconcile the two prompts today, so below you will also find my response to the Poetic Asides prompt to write a "possible" and/or "impossible" poem.

by Hédi Kaddour

Les arbres de la cour circulaire
Jaunissent, une délirante en contention
Les regarde ; elle se met à parler
Soudain comme si de rien n’avait
Jamais été, puis meurt le lendemain
De sa tuberculose en s’excusant
D’avoir tant dérangé. Il ne faut pas
Non plus, dit le docteur, chercher
A complètement calmer certains
Patients car ils s’ennuieraient trop.
Il a cessé de rêver aux sociétés
Sans classes, et s’installe parfois
Devant le kiosque municipal pour écouter
Une fanfare jouer des marches d’Empire. 

The Doctor

The arbors of the circular course,
jaunty and delirious in contention,
are in less regard. Hell is met at the parlor.
A sedan comes in the rain and awaits.
James stays, premiers the end of Man.
The sad tubercular and his excuse
devours deranged taunts. He is not fat,
passes nonplussed. The doctor checks
a compliment, calmly ascertains.
The patient's car has a sunroof top.
Will he cease on the river of society
to send classes and install par-fours,
the deviant municipal kiosk for encounters,
a fanfare, join the march of the Empire?


(for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings)

Twelve years ago, we were invincible,
before the impossible happened.
Now we know not only that it's possible,
but somewhere, sometime, it's probable.
Yet we can't let the dark possibles
dictate us.  We need to get on and off
the trains, run the race, attend the games
and concerts, shop at the mall,
go to work every day, if we work,
as if we're not afraid to be normal,
except for a furtive glance over the shoulder
now and then, on the watch for what probably
won't happen, but possibly will.

1 comment:

Paul-Victor Winters said...

Both really cool poems. I love the make-believe translating prompt; I've used it myself and find it to be a lot of fun. Thanks.