The Sin of Hawking Earth

Middle (frantic) Earth says:
You burn forests, stave lens for flutes.
(Sing and dance around the bon fire.)

Middle (tired) Earth says:
You brightly scorch the ground.

Middle (indignant) Earth says:
Scrape the earth wanting some interior rooms.
I negate your interest.



NaPoWriMo — Day Thirty: Write a poem that is a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem in a language you don’t know, and then “translate” it based on the look or sound of the words.

I used the poem Tre högst besynnerliga ord by Laureate Wislawa Szymborska (translated from Polish into Swedish by Anders Bodegård).

After I wrote this I looked up the English translation of Tre högst besynnerliga ord (and the original Polish — which wasn’t on most Szymborska sites I found).

It roughly translates into English like this:

The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.


I feel that I need to apologise for messing with her lovely and playful creation.

Then I became curious about Wislawa Szymborska and her poetry.  I knew she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996 and that she was from Poland, but I knew little else.

The Nobel award committee’s citation called Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska (her full given name) the “Mozart of poetry,” a woman who mixed the elegance of language with “the fury of Beethoven” and tackled serious subjects with humour.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go find more of this amazing poet’s work.