Welcome to Day 5 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!
- I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
- AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
- Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
- I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.
Congratulations, Kathleen W, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! (I do a raffle from those who commented on yesterday’s post.) Kathleen, please email me your address so I can send your prize: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now onto today’s poem. Don’t forget to comment, and check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!
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Today’s prompt is pretty abstract, but I decided to take it on. I’ve been intrigued by the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska (especially because of my own Polish heritage), so I picked a short (less intimidating!) poem of hers I’d never heard of or read in English. My poem is about the intriguing photo at the top of this post. This was pretty challenging, an interesting exercise.
Here’s the NaPoWrimo prompt: The challenge is to write a poem that reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. Begin with a photograph, then find a poem in a language you don’t know. Ignore any English translation. Translate the poem into English, with the idea that the poem is actually “about” your photograph. Use the look and feel of the words in the original to guide you along as you write, while trying to describe your photograph. It will be a bit of a balancing act, but hopefully it will lead to new and beautiful (and possibly very weird) places.
[Note: WordPress is not happy with some of the fancy Polish accented letters, so until I figure that out, I’ve had to modify.]
The original poem:
Precz! Ja rosne!
Byl pewien rolnik w Neapolu,
który zasadzil chuja w polu,
gdy przyszedl don na wiosne,
chuj rzecze: “Precz! Ja rosne,
do widzenia, mój drogi Karolu”
And my “translation:”
Listen! You’re Alive
Nobody can tell you anything,
treacherous and steep this way,
climbing mountains can kill you
life beckons: “Listen! You’re alive,
keep going, enjoy the view”
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This month’s posts are part of the NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At NaPoWriMo.net, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.
I’m so looking forward to your comments– it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.
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Photo credit: Ian Froome, courtesy of Unsplash.com, and the NY Daily News.