The challenge for today is to pick a language that you don’t know, and then translate a poem in that language.
Use the sound and shape of the words and lines to guide you, without worrying too much about whether your translation makes sense!
I chose to translate a poem written in Norwegian from a collection called Regnværsgåter (Riddles in Rainy Weather) by Gro Dahle.
HVEM ER DET SOM VENTER PÅ DEG UANSETT HVA DU HAR GJORT UANSETT HVA DU HAR SAGT MYKERE ENN DU HADDE TENKT BEDRE ENN DU KUNNE HUSKE?
i det slitte gamle trekket
Et eneste stort kinn
Have they met some Ventura (good fortune) perhaps inserted afar? You have jotted down “Inserted Afar”, you have said Mercury in the Heavens; think betraying them, you can help?
Put it down!
I do slither as gamblers trekked.
And earnestly sought out kindred spirits
Above the state of OM (primordial vibration),
Five nails I see.
Below is the correct translation of the poem.
WHO IS WAITING FOR YOU REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU HAVE SAID SOFTER THAN WHAT YOU HAD THOUGHT BETTER THAN WHAT YOU COULD RECALL?
in the worn old cover
One big cheek