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everything that lingers is bilingual

Progress: Wrote a kind of weird little poem riffing off the Denise Levertov poem linked below.

Prompt for today: Find a poem in another language, a language you can pronounce but don’t know, or don’t know well. “Translate” it very loosely, based on the sounds of the words when you don’t know their meaning. For instance, the first line of Charles Baudelaire’s “Le Soleil,” “Le long du vieux faubourg, où pendent aux masures” might become “the long and old fake bird, or pendant of measures.” Do this as fast as you can without worrying about making sense. Then select any phrases you like and write a poem with them. (This prompt is one I remember from Steve Kowit’s excellent In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop.)

Mirrored at Vary the Line.

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One Comment

  1. This is a great idea! I do this sometimes with Gaelic songs, rendering their sounds into English. I’m looking forward to seeing what people come up with.

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 3:26 am | Permalink