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7 hours ago, AC Benus said:

Hello, all! I worked on translating a Tanka by Ōgai Mori this afternoon. Do you think my version makes for a compelling poem...? I'm hoping it does, but I'm not so sure.

 

Let poetry be

Like a crystal bowl of ice;

Allow it to seem

Inviting and transparent,

With no spots of doubt showing.  

 

 

 

 

 

For me this "doubt" is the illusory nature of the world (maya) that encumbers and deludes us, taking us away from the truth of existence. Very traditional poetry btw classical metaphors. Loved it. 

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Hello, all! I worked on translating a Tanka by Ōgai Mori this afternoon. Do you think my version makes for a compelling poem...? I'm hoping it does, but I'm not so sure.   Let poetry be

I'm really not muchof a poet, but your question made me think. I have done almost all of AC's poetry prompts, as a way to expand my writing and challenge myself. I called it 'yoga for the brain' at on

I like this thread, Lyssa! I found myself thinking about Haiku and Tanka in Japanese last night and how some terms like mizu (water) have such poetic gravity they lack in English. Then I realized the

28 minutes ago, asamvav111 said:

For me this "doubt" is the illusory nature of the world (maya) that encumbers and deludes us, taking us away from the truth of existence. Very traditional poetry btw classical metaphors. Loved it. 

Thank you, Sas :) I like 'doubt' here too, but I may have strayed too far from the original. I will have to check and think about it. 

 

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Hi everyone! I’ve only recently joined the site, but it’s felt so warm and welcoming that I thought it’d be interesting to share something for discussion. I write poetry in both English and Spanish and only recently have begun to blend both my languages within poems. I was having in interesting exchange with a professor at my university this year where I confessed that sometimes I felt pressured to offer translated versions of my writing, while sacrificing the value of what a Spanish word or phrase was adding to my poem in order to please non-Spanish speaking readers. I mentioned I had begun blending the two languages without offering translations and he said I shouldn’t feel obliged to offer translations. He said readers shouldn’t force a type of language or culture censorship where the value of a piece is diminished because they can’t simply put the effort to translate words and phrases themselves or research the context of a piece. I’m curious if anyone else has thought about this dilemma of culture and language in your poetry and whether you share the professors opinion or have something else regarding it. It’ll be lovely to discuss!

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On 12/9/2017 at 9:55 AM, AC Benus said:

I wrote this translation as a tribute to my mom. I don't know how any singer can get through Mahler's music without being reduced to tears at the end.

Thanks for her support go to Lyssa and Mikiesboy, as always. 

 

https://www.gayauthors.org/story/ac-benus/translation-trashbin/5#comment-303522

 

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,  

Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben;

Sie hat so lange nichts von mir vernommen,

Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben.

 

 

Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen;

Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,

Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,

Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.

 

 

Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgetümmel,

Und ruh' in einem stillen Gebiet.

Ich leb' allein in meinem Himmel,

In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

 

I’ve been missing from the world lately,

Away from those I once spent so much time;

They’ve not heard from me, so long, ultimately,

They think I’ve moved on to Death’s colder clime. 

 

 

I’m done caring about them all greatly;

They think I’m dead or unsteady,

Let them think so, calm or irately,

‘Cause I’m dead to this world already (world already).

 

 

On the world’s turmoil, I watch sedately,

And can rest detached right where I belong,

Living alone in my heaven stately (in heaven stately),

With only my loves, and with my song.

 

 

_

 

 

 

Thank you for leaving a like for this, Tim. I appreciate it 

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  • 1 month later...

So, I was encouraged to post this here. This is a piece by a Norwegian poet named Erik Bye, called Vise i vinterlys. It translates to Song in Winter Light.

 

I vinterlyset når fjorden sover og puster skodde mot landets hud

Og fromme graner går bøyd til kirke some bleke søstre i nonneskrud

 

I vinterlyset når fjellet løfter en rimet panne mot solens spill

Og nordavinden har hvite fingre som stryker strenger av is og ild

 

Da tenner mennesker offerflammer langt, langt der inne back fonn og føyk

Og reiser spinkle små Jakobstiger til værs som tråder av spunnen røyk

 

Men aldri var dine øyne blanke som nå og aldri din munn så rød

Og aldri brente ditt sinn imot meg så varmt og nakent some blod i snø

 

Og mine hender når dine hender, din ånde gløder imot mit kinn

I vinterlyset når jorden skjelver, da er du inderlig mere min

 

 

My translation, with a couple of artistic liberties and some rhymes I just couldn't replicate:

 

In the winter light when the fjord is sleeping and breathes mist against the skin of the earth

And pious spruces bow their heads on their way to church as pale sisters dressed in white

 

In the winter light when the mountain raises its frosty brow to the sun's play

And the north wind has white fingers that play on strings of fire and ice

 

Then humans lift up sacrificial flames deep, deep inside behind drifts of snow

And raise up thin little Jacob's ladders into the air just like threads of smoke

 

But your eyes never were so bright as now, and never your mouth so red

And never did your soul burn towards me, as warm and naked as blood in snow

 

And my hands reach for your hands, your breath like embers against my cheek

In the winter light when the earth trembles, then you belong so much more to me

 

 

(I think if I give myself some more time I'll be able to make a better translation than this... get the metre and the rhymes right.)

Edited by Thorn Wilde
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4 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

So, I was encouraged to post this here. This is a piece by a Norwegian poet named Erik Bye, called Vise i vinterlys. It translates to Song in Winter Light.

 

I vinterlyset når fjorden sover og puster skodde mot landets hud

Og fromme graner går bøyd til kirke some bleke søstre i nonneskrud

 

I vinterlyset når fjellet løfter en rimet panne mot solens spill

Og nordavinden har hvite fingre som stryker strenger av is og ild

 

Da tenner mennesker offerflammer langt, langt der inne back fonn og føyk

Og reiser spinkle små Jakobstiger til værs som tråder av spunnen røyk

 

Men aldri var dine øyne blanke som nå og aldri din munn så rød

Og aldri brente ditt sinn imot meg så varmt og nakent some blod i snø

 

Og mine hender når dine hender, din ånde gløder imot mit kinn

I vinterlyset når jorden skjelver, da er du inderlig mere min

 

 

My translation, with a couple of artistic liberties and some rhymes I just couldn't replicate:

 

In the winter light when the fjord is sleeping and breathes mist against the skin of the earth

And pious spruces bow their heads on their way to church as pale sisters dressed in white

 

In the winter light when the mountain raises its frosty brow to the sun's play

And the north wind has white fingers that play on strings of fire and ice

 

Then humans lift up sacrificial flames deep, deep inside behind drifts of snow

And raise up thin little Jacob's ladders into the air just like threads of smoke

 

But your eyes never were so bright as now, and never your mouth so red

And never did your soul burn towards me, as warm and naked as blood in snow

 

And my hands reach for your hands, your breath like embers against my cheek

In the winter light when the earth trembles, then you belong so much more to me

 

 

(I think if I give myself some more time I'll be able to make a better translation than this... get the metre and the rhymes right.)

The version of the poem I saw arranged the two line sections you show into four, which makes lines of about 10 syllables each. That's quite a familiar Quatrain in that format. 

 

What I like about what you've done is show us all the color and images. I find it so striking that by the time we get to "But your eyes never were...", we transition from the scene-painting of winter sights and general emotions to the specific way a person makes the poet feel. I love that, and think your version brings it out wonderfully. I can't comment on how the poem feels in Norwegian,  but I love the English version you show us here. 

 

The next step would be to do a performance translation to suit the music. I think I noticed some internal rhymes when I listened to it, and those can be fun to tackle. 

 

I'm really glad you took the time to translate the lyrics for your Dead-Composers posting. I know it took effort, and I think it paid off really well :)

 

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I made a different translation, though I'm not sure if it's a better one:

 

In winter light when the fjord is sleeping and breathing mist over all in sight

And pious spruces walk with their heads bowed to church like pale sisters dressed in white

 

In winter light when the mountain raises its frosty brow to the cold sunrise

And the north wind with white long fingers softly strum strings made of fire and ice

 

Then humans raise sacrificial flames far and deep inside, behind drifts of snow

And raise up thin little Jacob’s ladders into the sky, like tendrils of smoke

 

But your eyes never were quite so bright as right now, and never your mouth so red

And never did your soul burn against me, so warm and naked as snow that bled

 

And now my hands reach out for your hands, your breath glows like embers upon my cheek

In winter light when the Earth is trembling, then you belong so much more to me

 

It's more singable.

Edited by Thorn Wilde
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36 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

@Thorn Wilde This is exquisite. You had me with the first stanza, with its pious spruces. Each successive quatrain draws me deeper into this winter poem playing with images of fire and ice. 

 

Thank you! I’m not much of a poet, when I do write my own it’s mostly free verse, or I write song lyrics, so... but I’m glad this made sense. :) 

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On 12/19/2018 at 4:16 PM, Thorn Wilde said:

So, I was encouraged to post this here. This is a piece by a Norwegian poet named Erik Bye, called Vise i vinterlys. It translates to Song in Winter Light.

 

I vinterlyset når fjorden sover og puster skodde mot landets hud

Og fromme graner går bøyd til kirke some bleke søstre i nonneskrud

 

I vinterlyset når fjellet løfter en rimet panne mot solens spill

Og nordavinden har hvite fingre som stryker strenger av is og ild

 

Da tenner mennesker offerflammer langt, langt der inne back fonn og føyk

Og reiser spinkle små Jakobstiger til værs som tråder av spunnen røyk

 

Men aldri var dine øyne blanke som nå og aldri din munn så rød

Og aldri brente ditt sinn imot meg så varmt og nakent some blod i snø

 

Og mine hender når dine hender, din ånde gløder imot mit kinn

I vinterlyset når jorden skjelver, da er du inderlig mere min

 

 

My translation, with a couple of artistic liberties and some rhymes I just couldn't replicate:

 

In the winter light when the fjord is sleeping and breathes mist against the skin of the earth

And pious spruces bow their heads on their way to church as pale sisters dressed in white

 

In the winter light when the mountain raises its frosty brow to the sun's play

And the north wind has white fingers that play on strings of fire and ice

 

Then humans lift up sacrificial flames deep, deep inside behind drifts of snow

And raise up thin little Jacob's ladders into the air just like threads of smoke

 

But your eyes never were so bright as now, and never your mouth so red

And never did your soul burn towards me, as warm and naked as blood in snow

 

And my hands reach for your hands, your breath like embers against my cheek

In the winter light when the earth trembles, then you belong so much more to me

 

 

(I think if I give myself some more time I'll be able to make a better translation than this... get the metre and the rhymes right.)

@Lyssa, the founder of this thread, asked me to tell you how breathtaking the poem is, and to thank you for sharing :) She appreciates it. 

 

Edited by AC Benus
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  • 1 year later...

Rose Ausländer gives me always comfort in her poetry.

Manchmal spricht ein Baum

Manchmal spricht ein Baum
durch das Fenster mir Mut zu
Manchmal leuchtet ein Buch
als Stern auf meinem Himmel
manchmal ein Mensch,
den ich nicht kenne,
der meine Worte erkennt.

I tried a translation

 

Sometimes a tree whispers

Sometimes a tree whispers

encouraging through the window

Sometimes a book brightens

my heaven like a shooting star

Sometimes it´s a person,

whom I don`t know,

who embraces my words.

 

 

Edited by Lyssa
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14 hours ago, Lyssa said:

Rose Ausländer gives me always comfort in her poetry.

Manchmal spricht ein Baum

Manchmal spricht ein Baum
durch das Fenster mir Mut zu
Manchmal leuchtet ein Buch
als Stern auf meinem Himmel
manchmal ein Mensch,
den ich nicht kenne,
der meine Worte erkennt.

I tried a translation

 

Sometimes a tree whispers

Sometimes a tree whispers

encouraging through the window

Sometimes a book brightens

my heaven like a shooting star

Sometimes a person,

whom I don`t know,

who embraces my words.

 

 

I get a great feel for quiet and connectedness with this poem. I can see why you are drawn to its message at this time of so many unknowns. I think your translation is lovely in bringing out this inwardness/outwardness simultaneously. Great job  

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Hello, All!

Today I discovered the Irish poet Thomas Moore translated all of the surviving poems of the very famously out ancient Greek Anacreon. Here is Ode No. 1 (numbered according to the Vatican codex). 

 
I saw the smiling bard of pleasure,
The minstrel of the Teian measure;
’Twas in a vision of the night,
He beamed upon my wondering sight
I heard his voice, and warmly prest
The dear enthusiast to my breast.
His tresses wore a silvery dye,
But beauty sparkled in his eye;
Sparkled in his eyes of fire,
Through the mist of soft desire,
His lip exhaled, when e’er he sighed,
The fragrance of the racy tide;
And, as with weak and reeling feet
He came my cordial kiss to meet,
An infant, of the Cyprian band,
Guided him on with tender hand.
Quick from his glowing brows he drew
His braid, of many a wanton hue;
I took the wreath, whose inmost twine
Breathed of him and blushed with wine.
I hung it o’er my thoughtless brow,
And ah! I feel its magic now:
I feel that even his garland’s touch
Can make the bosom love too much.
Anacreon,
circa 460 BC
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16 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

Hello, All!

Today I discovered the Irish poet Thomas Moore translated all of the surviving poems of the very famously out ancient Greek Anacreon. Here is Ode No. 1 (numbered according to the Vatican codex). 

 
I saw the smiling bard of pleasure,
The minstrel of the Teian measure;
’Twas in a vision of the night,
He beamed upon my wondering sight
I heard his voice, and warmly prest
The dear enthusiast to my breast.
His tresses wore a silvery dye,
But beauty sparkled in his eye;
Sparkled in his eyes of fire,
Through the mist of soft desire,
His lip exhaled, when e’er he sighed,
The fragrance of the racy tide;
And, as with weak and reeling feet
He came my cordial kiss to meet,
An infant, of the Cyprian band,
Guided him on with tender hand.
Quick from his glowing brows he drew
His braid, of many a wanton hue;
I took the wreath, whose inmost twine
Breathed of him and blushed with wine.
I hung it o’er my thoughtless brow,
And ah! I feel its magic now:
I feel that even his garland’s touch
Can make the bosom love too much.
Anacreon,
circa 460 BC

What a treasure! Thanks for sharing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found an wonderful poem from Rose Ausländer and made a translation, to be able to share it here, because I think most poets can relate to it:

 

Who am I

When I am desperate,

I write poems

 

If I am happy,

poems become alive

in me.

 

Who am I

if I am not

writing.

Rose Ausländer

 

 

 

 

Wer bin ich

Wenn ich verzweifelt bin

schreib ich Gedichte

 

Bin ich fröhlich

schreiben sich Gedichte

in mich

 

Wer bin ich

wenn ich nicht

schreibe

Rose Ausländer

 

 

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On 4/3/2020 at 1:52 PM, Lyssa said:

I found an wonderful poem from Rose Ausländer and made a translation, to be able to share it here, because I think most poets can relate to it:

 

Who am I

When I am desperate,

I write poems

 

If I am happy,

poems become alive

in me.

 

Who am I

if I am not

writing.

Rose Ausländer

 

 

 

 

Wer bin ich

Wenn ich verzweifelt bin

schreib ich Gedichte

 

Bin ich fröhlich

schreiben sich Gedichte

in mich

 

Wer bin ich

wenn ich nicht

schreibe

Rose Ausländer

 

 

You're right. I can relate to this poem very, very well... Thank you for doing a translation and posting it here :)

 

Edited by AC Benus
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  • 1 month later...

My email drafts are so full of poetry -- saved, sorted, translated -- all waiting for filing under the right folder on my PC. Included is this almost nursery rhyme gem from a late 18th century German poet known as "Novalis." His book is a wild combination of "Song of Myself" and spirituality. This is just a tiny gem from amidst the treasures... 

 

Gieb treulich mir die Hände, 

Sei Bruder mir, und wende

Den Blick, vor deinem Ende,

Nicht wieder weg von mir. 

 

Ein Tempel wo wir knieen, 

Ein Ort wohin wir ziehen,  

Ein Glück für das wir glühen, 

Ein Himmel mir und dir!

                                     Novalis

 

----------------

 

Give me your hands betrothed to say,

Brother to me, you'll not turn away

Those eyes until your final day, 

And this view now that we both see.

 

To kneel in a temple we know, 

To move to where we're meant to go,  

To feel our happiness aglow,

To the heaven of you and me!

                                            Novalis

 

Edited by AC Benus
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  • 1 month later...

I stumbled about this poem by Rose Ausländer today and it made a deep impression on me.

 

Mein Atem

In meinen Tiefträumen
weint die Erde
Blut

Sterne lächeln
in meine Augen

Kommen Menschen
mit vielfarbnen Fragen
Geht zu Sokrates
antworte ich

Die Vergangenheit
hat mich gedichtet
ich habe
die Zukunft geerbt

Mein Atem heißt
Jetzt

by Rose Ausländer

 

My breath

 

In my deepest dreams

the earth weeps

Blood

 

Stars smile

through my eyes

 

People come

with multi coloured questions

Go to Socrates

I answer

 

The past

wrote me like a poem

I have

inherited the future

 

My breath is named

Now

 

 

translation Lyssa

 

 

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6 hours ago, Lyssa said:

I stumbled about this poem by Rose Ausländer today and it made a deep impression on me.

 

Mein Atem

In meinen Tiefträumen
weint die Erde
Blut

Sterne lächeln
in meine Augen

Kommen Menschen
mit vielfarbnen Fragen
Geht zu Sokrates
antworte ich

Die Vergangenheit
hat mich gedichtet
ich habe
die Zukunft geerbt

Mein Atem heißt
Jetzt

by Rose Ausländer

 

My breath

 

In my deepest dreams

the earth weeps

Blood

 

Stars smile

through my eyes

 

People come

with multi coloured questions

Go to Socrates

I answer

 

The past

wrote me like a poem

I have

inherited the future

 

My breath is named

Now

 

 

translation Lyssa

 

 

I think you capture the certain pointedness of Ausländer's original. I'm struck with trying to sort out the image of the earth weeping tears of blood; it could be a million things  

Edited by AC Benus
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41 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

I think you capture the certain pointedness Ausländer's original. I'm struck with trying to sort out the image of the earth weeping tears of blood; it could be a million things  

That is a very intense question you raise. In the literature is said, Rose Ausländer reflected her own past through her poetry as victim of the Holocaust. But since this poem was written late in her life*, it feels for me as meant more universal and indeed very actual today. I interpret her like she is saying: I see all the horror, pain and the strife in this world and I have talked about it in my poems all my life. Now I am close to the end of my life and I can not give you answers. I still have a loving view on life and I cherish every moment I will have.

 

*(1981 published, she couldn`t leave her room because of health issues from 1977 to her death 1988)

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  • 5 months later...

Any native speakers of Spanish willing to help me with my attempts to translate Lorca...?

I guess I can dive in. I'm wondering how to tell when the verb verter means to transfer liquid, as opposed to when it means to translate (or, move something from one language to another).

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  • 2 months later...

Seeking the input of all German speakers :yes:

The following poem is by Bruno Quandt. Believe it or not, I have a handle on "Mistbeet" 🤣 but in the final stanza, the poem suddenly begins referring to a "him". As in the line "Dann brau ich heimlich ihm verruchten Trank".

I have a couple ideas who this may be in regards to, but any idea you'd like to toss out there, I'd be happy to see and discuss

 
So wie ein Mistbeet will ich meine Seele halten
Und sorgsam hegen ihrer Pflanzen schwarzen Flor.
Sie wachsen, seltsam lauernde Gestalten,
Aus dem durchjauchten Humus üppig vor.
 
Nachtschatten, in metallisch schimmernden Kulturen,
Vom Haß gesät, in jedem Kelche jähen Tod,
Dann laure ich auf frische Frohnaturen,
Auf junges Blut, die Wangen rund und rot.
 
So rot, als ob es aller Gifte lache,
Dann brau ich heimlich ihm verruchten Trank,
Daß ich ihn stumm zur stillen Leiche mache,
Zu eklem Aas und giftigem Gestank.

 

_

Edited by AC Benus
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On 12/15/2020 at 7:35 AM, AC Benus said:

Any native speakers of Spanish willing to help me with my attempts to translate Lorca...?

I guess I can dive in. I'm wondering how to tell when the verb verter means to transfer liquid, as opposed to when it means to translate (or, move something from one language to another).

Hehe, I now understand verter better. One, it means to specifically move substance/content/energy/grace from a large to a smaller body or vessel. Two, in the poem, I figured out the correct translation verb is "to shed" -- as in to shed thy grace on thee :)  

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9 hours ago, AC Benus said:

Seeking the input of all German speakers :yes:

The following poem is by Bruno Quandt. Believe it or not, I have a handle on "Mistbeet" 🤣 but in the final stanza, the poem suddenly begins referring to a "him". As in the line "Dann brau ich heimlich ihm verruchten Trank".

I have a couple ideas who this may be in regards to, but any idea you'd like to toss out there, I'd be happy to see and discuss

 
So wie ein Mistbeet will ich meine Seele halten
Und sorgsam hegen ihrer Pflanzen schwarzen Flor.
Sie wachsen, seltsam lauernde Gestalten,
Aus dem durchjauchten Humus üppig vor.
 
Nachtschatten, in metallisch schimmernden Kulturen,
Vom Haß gesät, in jedem Kelche jähen Tod,
Dann laure ich auf frische Frohnaturen,
Auf junges Blut, die Wangen rund und rot.
 
So rot, als ob es aller Gifte lache,
Dann brau ich heimlich ihm verruchten Trank,
Daß ich ihn stumm zur stillen Leiche mache,
Zu eklem Aas und giftigem Gestank.

 

_

Ahhhh :facepalm: I haven`t seen it earlier, when we talked about it. But now I see it. It is "das (junge) Blut" ihm (Possesivpronomen to Dativ dem Blut) he brews the poison for the "junges Blut"= means a young person. That`s the grammatical possebility.

(Maybe a young hill climbing annyoing overly jolly Bavarian 😄)

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      Hi everyone! I’ve only recently joined the site, but it’s felt so warm and welcoming that I thought it’d be interesting to share something for discussion. I write poetry in both English and Spanish and only recently have begun to blend both my languages within poems. I was having in interesting exchange with a professor at my university this year where I confessed that sometimes I felt pressured to offer translated versions of my writing, while sacrificing the value of what a Spanish word or phrase was adding to my poem in order to please non-Spanish speaking readers. I mentioned I had begun blending the two languages without offering translations and he said I shouldn’t feel obliged to offer translations. He said readers shouldn’t force a type of language or culture censorship where the value of a piece is diminished because they can’t simply put the effort to translate words and phrases themselves or research the context of a piece. I’m curious if anyone else has thought about this dilemma of culture and language in your poetry and whether you share the professors opinion or have something else regarding it. It’ll be lovely to discuss!
    • By northie
      Emotion
      No one enjoys dealing with the sad emotions. A breakup, a death, or even a serious illness can put a character through hell. Create a scene where your character is given some bad news and what happens when they are alone and process it. Remember to show and not tell. Bring the anguish alive for the reader.
       
    • By William King
      I was wondering whether the differences between American and British English pose any problems. It seems to me there are lots of different words and expressions, maybe even the same words that convey different meanings, I don't think spelling is an issue, but I thought it might occur that something gets 'lost in translation'.
       
      Perhaps you would like some examples (just to make you smile). British boys don't jerk or beat off they wank and toss and no one would call you a "mother fucker", but they might call you a "prick".
       
      What do you think?
    • By Ashi
      I wanted to write a blog about it, but instead, I think I'll just ask the question: What does love and infatuation mean to you? What's the difference? Have you ever been mistaken one for the other?
       
      I want to discuss about romantic love and infatuation, as they're the most confused about. That is, no platonic love, parental love, friendships, or sexual (eros) type of love, please. It'll keep things more focused and manageable because they're really abstract and hard to grasp conceptual words.

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