Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to perform a homophonic “translation” of a poem (or part of a poem) written in a language you don’t know. In other words, write a poem that mirrors the original in sound–or what you imagine to be the sound of the original words.
I have chosen to “translate” part of a poem by Ana Cristina César. She was a well-known poet of Brazil and has been compared to Sylvia Plath. Like Plath, she took her own life. I do not wish to diminish her poetry in any way, so I hope this homophonic “translation” captures not only the sounds but also the beauty and emotion I would expect to find in her work.
This is her poem (or part of it), followed by my non-translation.
CONVERSA DE SENHORAS
Nao preciso nem casar
Tiro dele tudo o que preciso
Nao saio mais daqui
Esse assunto de mulher ja terminou
O gato comeu e regalou-se
Ele danca que nem um realejo
Escrior nao existe mais
Mas tambem nao precisa virar deus
Tem alguem na casa
Voce acha que ele aguenta?
CONVERSING IN SENESCENCE
Memory is never precise
Time may dull the truth
Just as this daiquiri
Dulls my senses, or even more
Pulling asunder the threads of reality
Entering the gates of fantasy-land
And dancing until our feet are numb
The escape route no longer exists
By which we can tap dance to freedom
Our ascent is no longer possible
Have our voices been silenced as well?