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Monday, April 3, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day Three suggests writing a poem with a line in a foreign language  Is one line enough to introduce a cultural feel, a feeling for another culture, evoke something of that 'foreign' culture? Does it require translating in the poem?  In a footnote?  Or can the context carry it?  I wonder whether there are instructive writings about translating....

               The Pact

When they were first married,
they had made a pact
that each one would
kiss the other, and say
I love you,
before they left for work.
He in his American suit,
in winter a fine woolen overcoat
which would seem out of place
in his homeland, a uniform,
it would seem, in the new world,
showing this world that he belonged,
that he knew how to wear his clothes,
that he was an okay guy.
Driving home from work
at the end of  day,
all she thought of was
when she would see him again
and would she have had time
to prepare dinner and herself
be ready, waiting for the answer
to her morning refrain,
"Marri eppudu wasthaavandi?"*

---Shirley Smith Franklin    *Telugu: When do you come again?

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