Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuskless Months - 16/30

Good morning and good Tuesday!

Been doing any good reading this month? Are there any poets I should be following? Toss me your suggestions in the comments.

As for today's poem, I took NaPoWriMo's prompt to "translate" a foreign poem.
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!
For today's...weird piece of something (I don't go so far as to call it a poem), I used "EMPTY" by the Lithuanian poet Sigitas Parulskis, which can be read in its original state at the link.

Here is my super bizarre transmutation of that original poem....enjoy?

Tuskless Months

Morn basted toasty, he, toasty basted morn
matted bulk of rustic drywall and intravenous odors

of kelvins, many kelvins' viscous tusking
for Vishnu-mass, for seemly tracks, verifying
klepto prized motors
cleansed suckers necropolitan carp
posting smelly colonies

if sharks, if sharks' visitors
tussle, ranking nihilistic velvet
placards for inverted skeins, nickel
in tan jean sycamore necks

cackle-sighted haddock are
9, no, 10 volumes, or less, nakedly
nevertheless craquelure, also Uzbek
is suave mink, curious smugly

this delta, then, for better months -
Tuscany, visual Tuscany
drab as usual, named, pinging
knights, dragons, - new visa
bemused nutrias mourn mistakes

dear mother, dear Pakistani Sikh and elitist:
Kafka's past ka-boom came so serious I crashed us
in tuskless months before, and noses
for sermons never so sublime

since I crashed us
your many toasts are memory


  1. This is strangely compelling
    and definitely musical.
    I've never quite got my head round coypu being 'nutria' which sounds like an energy bar....
    I really enjoyed this poem.
    I don't normally follow prompts - but this has tempted me. I'm off to the link now.

    1. Thank you for reading and responding! It was definitely a prompt that shoved me waaaay outside my normal thinking process. Which is always a good thing now and again.

      And now that you mentioned nutria sounding like an energy bar, that's all I can think of, haha.

      I look forward to reading what this prompt stirs in you! ^_^