Monday, April 25, 2016



I have to admit translation poems are not my favourite thing. Perhaps its because I have twice attempted to learn at least the rudiments of another language and am sorry I can't carry on a conversation in either one. But in the spirit of Poetry Month, I'll try this again. 

The prompt: Found Poetry Review Day # 25 is from Nancy Chen Wong. The idea is to find a poem written in a language you don't know, read it aloud as best you can and imagine what it might mean based on how it sounds.

I found the poem I'm using here after a Google search for poems first in Swedish, then in Lithuanian...

  • Sound out the poem and “translate” it based on what you hear. A couple of methods you can use to sound out the poem are:
    • To sound out the poem aloud by yourself. This might be doable if the alphabet being used is something you can sort-of recognize.
    • And/or use Google Translate ( ): Paste in a line or phrase or word of the poem in its original language. Select the language to be translated if Google doesn’t recognize it. Once the language has been detected, a little speaker icon should appear below the text you pasted in. Click the speaker icon and Google voice will read what you entered back to you.
Of course, your translation won’t be exact—getting words anywhere near the ballpark of what you think you hear is good.
This is a tiny poem in Lithuanian by whom I have no idea. I found it here. But it's late and I'm desperate for a short poem to play with and by a bunch of mental links you probably don't need to know I've come up with this.


Here's the Lithuanian poem:

Kai tave pamačiau... 

Iškart įsimylėjau 
Ir tavo mėlynas akis 
Į širdį įsidėjau 

If I may have your permission
this is similar to
how you said you'd never steal a kiss
without seriously asking

What does this picture have to do with the poem? It is for my friend Dalia Naujokaitis who died a year ago when I was in La Manzanilla and the day I found out I walked to the end of the beach to Boca where there's a cave and in that cave there are memorials to people who have crossed over and last year and this I have brought offerings in remembrance of my Lithuanian friend, Dalia who I met when I was still very young and who taught me to say "shit bug" in Lithuanian and that it was fine for girls to hug each other. 

Goddamn cancer.


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