Tag Archives: language

#GloPoWriMo 2018 9 – Lesson I

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should I tell you how to
shall I tell you how
can I tell you
I’ll tell you

when she takes
when he takes
why you & I give

what is
what isn’t
what these are in context
out of context they are not

how to be in
how to go to
who to go with
& how to stay

#GloPoWriMo 2018 6 – Homework

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For next week, then,
I want you to fall in love
with someone who doesn’t
speak the same language as you.
I want you to explore
all conjugations of the verbs
to feel to stumble to fumble.
I want you to analyse
the syntax of their collarbone
and the irregular construction
of the skin on their belly.
How their intonation rises
with each questioning look
in the way that their voice
does not. How the structure
of their arms has possessive
qualities, and it calls to you
in the singular and the plural.
How there is no need for a third
person. How the present
might or might not seem perfect
and the rules behind it follow
no rhyme nor reason anyway.
How tongues are the least
important part of the conversation
when the punctuation is made
by the sounds of your study.

What you will learn is
for you and you alone but
share the lesson wide.

based on a conversation almost had during teaching

Il cuore è una terra straniera, di Rangi McNeil

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La nostra è lingua parziale e in parte pantomima
in parte sudicia supposizione: speculazione adulterata
in significato & motivazione.

Tradotto, cuore indica un congegno familiare,
universale ma la composizione chimica varia –
anche a componenti solite e non fuori dal comune.

Il mondo non ci deve niente. Ci promette anche meno.
Chiamala: libertà. Libero arbitrio. O mercoledì.

[Originale in inglese di Rangi McNeil, ‘The Heart is a Foreign Country’]

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 16 – April suburb

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Flowerbeds around
where you chased footballs:
and now in the rubble
soiled flowers bloom to the dry breath
of springtime walls.
But in your eyes and in your voice
there is water,
coolness in your depths, rooted
beyond clods and seasons, in what
remains on the tops
damp snow:
and so you rush through every vein
and tell
that remote road still
and the wind
light over gigantic
blue chasms.

[Original Italian by Antonia Pozzi (1912-1938), ‘Periferia in aprile’.]

NaPoWriMo Day 25 – In Silence

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I write words every day.
I don’t know where I’ll go
by writing.
I know I could stay silent.
Those who know, don’t speak.
Mute in the womb of time
where people even cry.
A look
will be enough to understand and say
what the voice cannot.
I touch every instant, every day
the cry and the thunder. I live around.
I could stop and wait.
In silence.

[Original Italian by Margherita Guidacci, ‘In silenzio’.]

NaPoWriMo Day 22 – I Want a Language

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I want a language spanning galaxies
reaching from limitless end to limitless end.
I want a language so minutely detailed
it can talk of quarks and bosons
and conversations between electrons.
I want a language that says what it means
referring to reality with each spoken thought.
I want a language that lies past
similes, onto metaphors, untruthfully signifying
a reality too hard to grasp.
I want a language that fits like a coat
with enough pockets to stash words in
so that when I find something new
I can take some of it with me.
I want a language a little tight around the waist
just enough to be uncomfortable
so I might stretch it and even break it.
I want a language that spits in the face
of structures and generations and derivations.
I want a language that does not care
if it is pure, tainted, original or functional.
I want a language that does not fall short
when trying to talk about…
Most of all, I want a language with which to tell stories
that may have happened once upon a time, or now
or in days still to come.

NaPoWriMo 4 – Soar high, word

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Soar high, word, burrow deep
reach nadir and zenith of your signification,
for at times you can – a thing-exclaiming dream
in the darkness of the mind –
but do not leave
me, do not arrive,
I beg you, to that celestial destination
alone, without my warmth
or at least my memory, be
light, not void transparency…

The thing or its soul? or my and its suffering?

(Original Italian by Mario Luzi)