Thursday, June 5, 2008

Found in translatation

My Egyptian poet friend Gamal, (Jimmy), gave me an assignment to write a poem called "Suntired" whist we were hanging out on a sunny day in the Vondel Park.

I completed the assignment. It was nice to do, especially since I studied and wrote so much poetry in college, and yet the only thing I've written the last 5 years has been comedy stuff.*

*turns out...not a lot of money in poetry. No body wants to shell out 20 euros to go have a dinner and watch some slam poets.

Awesomely, Jimmy took the time to translate said poem into Dutch.

Here is the original:


The day dies
like a monk
who has prepared.

Sunlight mingles in the trees that line the water
fading light leaning towards twi--
ensnared between boughs
seeming not to mind
holding whispered conversations
photosynthesis and magic

the leaves glow
like i do
like when in close contact
to a beautiful woman.

And here is Jimmy's Dutch version.


De dag sterft
als een monnik
die zich heeft voorbereid.

Zonlicht mengt zich in de bomen langs het water
verblekend licht hellend naar twi--
enverdeeld tussen takken
schijnbaar achteloos
gesprekken fluisterend
fotosynthese en magie

de bladeren stralen
als ik doe
als wanneer in de nabijheid

van een mooie vrouw.

So I thought Why not keep it going? So I took this dutch translation and then i fed it back into the Google Translate machine. I turned it back into English, then into Chinese, then back into English, then into Arabic, which looks like this by the way:

وفاة اليوم

كما راهب

من اعدادها.

الشمس المشرقه ، الى عدم التدخل في الاشجار على طول المياه

الالتزام ميل طفيف التوى --

enverdeeld بين الفروع

لا يبدو ان الرعايه


محادثات fluisterend

التمثيل الضوئي وماجيك

انتم الطائرات

واذا كنت

كما لو كان في محيط

امرأة جميلة.

Then back into English.

This is the end result:


The death today

The monk

Of preparation.

Sunshine, not to interfere in the trees along the water

Commitment slight tendency Twi --

enverdeeld between branches

Does not seem to care


Talks fluisterend

Photosynthesis and Magic

You aircraft

If you

As if it were in the vicinity

Beautiful woman.

Personally, I like it better then my original. It makes less cohesive sense. The but that's the point. Get it?

now if only I could sell it for some sneaker money...

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