This week’s Write The Book Prompt was suggested by my guest, Wendy Call, who says it was inspired by the portion of our interview about translation. It’s an exercise in homophonic translation -- that is to say, translation based on sound – actual, assumed, or imagined – of poetry written in other languages.
First: Find a stanza of poetry written in a language you do not know.
Second: Look at the words carefully and imagine how they sound when spoken aloud. Link those sounds to English words. Try sounding out each line verbally, until English words occur to you. Focus on SOUND, not known or imagined meaning. Feel free to take liberties and be nonsensical.
Here's an example, of a stanza of poetry written by Irma Pineda in Isthmus Zapotec, a language spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico.
The Original reads:
Nuu dxi rizaaca
ranaxhi tobi ca yáaga ca'
Wendy’s English version reads:
New dixie rise AKA
Ran an exit to bike yoga, ‘kay?
Third: Take your "found" English stanza and revise it into a new poem.