For the NaPoWriMo prompt today, we were to find a poem written in another language we do not know and to write a poem according to what we thought it meant. Here is my translation of a poem by a poet from the Netherlands. Her original and a true translation follow.
Messages in Bottles
Messages they send out to the world in bottles (those they think up as they stir their morning cups of chocolate) —beware their dangers. These messengers have hands that can slap you awake, then abandon you as they return to the problems of the privileged rich.These parasites, dosed with their vitamin B, ride roughshod over their hosts.
They linger in their beautiful dreams of percentages, profit on the hunger of the poor. They see not your skeletons when they look in the mirror. They do not see the hearts they have broken. Once, surrounded by the stricken, they put their fingers in their ears and pretended they were evangelists to the poor. Then, their illusions shattered by going door-to-door, they slammed doors shut again.
Their messages in bottles are swift to flow away. The ocean has no doors to slam in their faces. And their heads bent in prayer will not open those doors they have closed. The ballast their bottles carry does no good. The hunger of the world has no stake in the good books they carry. The mood of their verses is malevolent. The vows they swear are words in a wind that has come too late.–Judy Dykstra-Brown, April 21, 2020
Below is the poem in its original language—the language my grandparents and father grew up speaking. I know about 5 words in it–and the alphabet!
Meisje van botten en pezen praat een wereld aan elkaar van ’s avonds drop en chocola de rijst voor straks bewaren, dagelijks een handje noten voor het slapen en alleen geen kaas vanwege mogelijke huidproblemen.
And here is a translation into English of the above poem. I did not read this translation until after I had written mine. Obviously!! But, it is interesting that the idea of hunger did come across, somehow, although my poem is in an expanded world context whereas her poem about anorexia is very personal. I prefer hers!
Girl of bones and tendons strings together a world of words: licorice and chocolate in the evening keep the rice for later, a handful of nuts every day before going to sleep and no cheese because her skin might break out in a rash.
She talks about parasites, vitamin B, genetically driven fluctuations in her ratios of fat to water. Hunger has eaten the last flesh off her skeleton and now we can no longer put our arms round her for she might break. Our envelopes with the sticks, peanut-butter jars and preaching she accepts with a smile before flushing them straight down her favourite toilet.
Girl of bones and tendons floats away from us and we, bound by gravity, can do no more than call out to her from below that she can always hoist her lost ballast back up, that it is never too late to stop starving herself, grow a belly for gathering courage, become a woman of weight and let the wind be the wind.
The prompt for NaPoWriMo 2020 day 21 was to find a poem written in another language that you do not know and to write a poem about what you think it says.
I pined, I whined, I opined I’d nothing here to eat.
No soup or chips or waffles. No ham or other meat.
I’d used up all my popcorn. I never buy baloney.
But looking in the freezer, I found some pepperoni!
When I went searching through the fridge, hidden back so far
that I could barely see it, I found a little jar.
Hidden behind the pickles, some pizza sauce that I
surmised was just enough to make a little pizza pie!
Some frozen cheese to top it, and some pita for the crust.
It seems that it was fated that a pizza was a must.
The toaster oven was just right for melding it together.
I dived once more into the fridge, intent on seeing whether
I had stuff for a salad, and I found some veggies shredded.
Fresh carrots and fresh cabbage—which were most swiftly wedded.
Balsamic and some blue cheese and olives from a jar
made a so-so salad only slightly below par.
The pizza cooked so quickly that I was quickly fed.
And now that I am sated, I think I’ll go to bed!
Forgottenman made me post this! I need to learn not to tell him anything this late at night. He always decides it would make a good blog post!!!
I never did order one of these mocha drinks at La Rueda coffee shop. I couldn’t be trusted to know how good they were.Do they look like luscious chocolates and macaroons? Wrong. They are sweet potato balls brought to a friend’s Thanksgiving feast…rolled in coconut or pecans and brown sugar. Yes, they were delicious!!!
This pancake breakfast ordered by a friend at Martha’s Cafe in Ajijic was as good as it looks. Proof below: But, the shocker was that the oatmeal I ordered was just as good! I was too hungry to get a picture of it. Guess I’ll have to go back to prove it to you!!!