Friday, June 25, 2010

I've been reading Jane Holland's excellent series of workshops on redrafting poems at the Mslexia website. She quotes a suggestion from poet Sophie Mayer - "Feed work through Google Translation or Babelfish (sometimes multiple times) and rewrite from the new meanings that arise".
I thought it would be fun to translate and translate back my poem in the previous post through various languages on Babelfish -

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I think I like the Korean version best, or maybe the Russian 'I intrasonic oscillations along sea surface'!
A bit of fun but I think it could certainly be a useful way to get perhaps a slightly different perspective on a poem.


Jim Murdoch said...

I see 'muckle' means the same thing the world over. An interesting exercise. I guess it beats cutting up your poem and shoving the words around on the desk. I assume that each time you started with your English poem. I wonder how far from the original you'd end up if you kept translating from one language to the next? A bit like Chinese Whispers I suppose.

Marion said...

yep, I started fresh with my poem each time though sometime I'll try putting it through several translations.

Dick said...

What a hallucinatory world we enter through your collaboration with Babelfish, Marion! I'm going to have a go at this.

Marion said...

Oh do, Dick. It's quite addictive once you start!!

deemikay said...

I went through a phase of doing this (to other people's poems) and Korean was the one that I always though was most interesting!