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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day Twelve, a homophonic translation

Today's prompt, as I understand it, is not to translate a poem, but to write what only the sounds of the words seem to say in English. Using the link to provided by NaPoWriMo, I chose a Finnish author because of heredity and a teeny tad of familiarity with Finnish, and the poet Sirkka Turkka simply because I have a relative named Sirkka.
With apologies to both Sirkkas, I came up with my own creation based only on the suggestion of sounds and guessed meanings of faintly familiar words. Only after writing will I go back and read the website translation of ST's poem. Here goes....
[Later: Sirkka's poem, "Tähdet ovat taas kuin itkuinen balladi," turned out to be a lot darker, according to its English translation, than I would have liked to write, so I am glad for what I wrote after all.]

Aiti Sang of a Summer Evening

That was not a thoughtless ballad, the one about evening.
Mother's voice joined the mourning dove's alleluias
as sun departed, bidding it return tomorrow,
thankful for yard and garden at peace, so very much
in tune with the evening scene were her songs.
Not that all evenings were clarity; sometimes fog and smoke,
as when father lit his pipe, expanded on the cooling air.
Ask yourself:  Where you were last night? Did you enjoy,
did you travel, did you read, and remember without regret?
Whether with cup of ice cream or a flute of wine, it doesn't matter.
I don't require an explanation of where or what or why.
I have no wish to view the guest register, or ask the waiter
whether you still insisted on real butter for your bread.
Such ordinary questions arise and tend to answer themselves.
The only peace I desire of an evening is to remain at your side,
to eat or drink, or simply to sink in your arms, mellowing,
like the setting sun.

by Shirley Smith Franklin

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