Saturday, 27 November 2010

Simultaneous blogging = broken conversation


This post is part of Mairi Sharratt's Simultaneous Blogging Experiment (link to the mothership is here... anyone looking for my Poetry Bus poem this week that is back here). This post is in English... to begin with... pero en español a bit lower down... read on, read on...

The theme for today's experiment is broken conversation and this is my poem (in English... with audio file here). Regular visitors will win no prizes for guessing what (or who) triggered this piece...

Abruptly gone

There is no language for us any more
All those words that you knew
That you hunted for crosswords
They're quiet and scarce
And I'm totally clueless

And I look at the photos
And I hear all the funny old ways
And I feel like I can touch your skin
But I can't

RF 2010

There are a lot of Spanish writers involved in this experiment (all links below) and as I did study Spanish and live in Spain (both a long time ago - over 20 years ago in fact...) I thought I would have a go at translating this little piece. My attempt is below – apologies if it's awful but it's been a while (lo siento, lo siento...). I did run it past the one Spanish speaker I know online (this man) and he very helpfully ironed out a couple of lumpy bits but he can't be blamed for the overall piece. Also (just so you can hear my very, very rusty accent) there is an audio file of the translation here (¡hombre, qué cara que tiene esa mujer!). Yes. Sin duda.


Ahora no hay lenguaje para nosotros
Todas las palabras que conocías
Que buscabas para crucigramas
Ya todas se han quedado tranquilas
Se han vuelto escasas
Y yo, al final, sin indicaciones

Y examino las fotos
Y oigo tus manías
Y me parece que todavía puedo tocarte la piel
Pero no puedo

RF 2010

Here are all the links to other people posting right now as part of today's experiment:

JoAnne McKay at Titus the Dog

Russell Jones

Alastair Cook at written in my hand

Peggy Hughes/Scottish Poetry Library at Our sweet old etcetera

Mairi Sharratt at A lump in the Throat

Roger Santiváñez

Cisco Bellavista

Jesús Ge

Ana Pérez Cañamares

Felipe Zapico

Martaerre (Marta R. Sobrecueva) at de las poesia y otras disciplinas en palabras

And finally here's a song with some English and Spanish all mixed up beautifully. I knew this singer way back and in fact she was the person who first introduced me to Madrid and Spanish life in general... but cielos that was many many lunas ago...

¡Hasta luego!



Titus said...

Just testing the links! It works…

Liz said...

Hey, lovely poem, Rachel, and the translation appears pretty flawless too...will delve deeper into what the experiment consists of later on today...just off for a post-house-work siesta! ; )

Argent said...

Ay! Creo que hablas muy bien espanol. He olvidado mucho de mis estudias. That's enough fractured Spanish. Loved your poem in both languages. Also studied Spanish as a young 'un but never lived there sadly.


Totalfeckineejit said...

I can't keep up with you!

Titus said...

Lovely poem, I particularly like the three 'ands' and then 'but' of the second verse.

I listened to the Spanish. I love it in Spanish!

And this whole thing is causing TFE to melt down.

Rachel Fox said...

It is a bit full-on doing both writing groups, as it were, on the same blog... still, it's a one-off!

hope said...

My Spanish is rusty but your accent was wonderful!

And this may sound odd, but the last line of the poem, which is so heart wrenching in itself, sounds even more so in Spanish.

Rachel Fox said...

You're very sweet but there are at least two bits where the pronunciation goes wrong and I sound much more Coronation Street* than I am aiming for.

*Soap opera set in't north of England.

A Cuban In London said...

I know I'm not supposed to say this. After al,, your poem was inspired by the loss of your mother, one of those events that can easily throw a person's life into turnmoil. But this is such a beautiful post, Rachel. I feel lucky to have contributed to your translation and if ever, you're in the same situation, please, do not hesitate to e-mail me.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks, Cuban... on every level!

Titus said...

Good gracious, I should have got Cuban on mine! I wonder if he had a week spare?
And yes, a beautiful post.

Rachel Fenton said...

That's such a touching poem; really moved me. Didn't listen the audio, not wanting to break the mood of it in my head, but I tried to regurgitate Spanish class memories to read the second out loud! Big hugs x

Rachel Fox said...

Well, I did the translation and nearly put it up without getting anyone to look at it... but there were a couple of niggling doubts about it (por or para... and so on) so I wimped out and asked Cuban to take a look at it for me...

Thanks Rachel.


Kat Mortensen said...

I love how the Spanish endings are so similar and lend themselves to the poem so well.

The poem is perfect. (I know what you mean - right down to the crosswords. In my case, that has more than one meaning.)

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, not a double meaning (in English) that I thought of at the time but now you mention it... read my 'About the thing' (page 76 MatS)... they're mentioned in there!

Roxana said...

this is so beautiful, it makes me silent and i wish i knew how you could put something like this into words... so simple and powerful words...

and i am in awe in front of your spanish, i had to struggle a lot to get a hint at the fact that it was a british native speaking, which is really an amazing feat.

Rachel Fox said...

Says you who blogs in I don't know how many languages! I nearly did the recording again ('tocarte' isn't right for a start) but my sound engineer works hard enough as it is...