I wanted to close my month of #NaPoWriMo2016 in a very personal way. This post:
- comes full circle: I translate my first poem of the month into French
- shares with you one of my most favourite poems that has been set to a French Mélodie by several composers
- lists all 30 poets in translation
- adds a 31st poet and a brief discussion on Indigenous Australian languages
My first NaPoWriMo poem, translated into French
A l’aube bleu pâle,
se dresse le cerf.
Tacheté, il fonctionne bien.
It still has the crescent shape of the original lune I wrote here. I chose French, because I often sing in French and spent a few magical days in Paris the year before last where I fell in love with the language all over again.
Have a read of one of my favourite poems by Paul Verlaine that has been set to music by Gabriel Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn, and others. I adore the Hahn version; I sang it for my AMusA examination. Hauntingly beautiful. Mystical. Soaring. Magnifique!
The list of poets in translation
Each day, Maureen Thorson has given us a poet in translation. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering these poets from all over the globe. I want to be able to come back to them at my leisure when I want to feel inspired, so I have collated them here in order. Please do go back to Maureen’s website for a blurb on each of these poets and links to more of their poems.
- Hiromi Ito – Japan
- Toeti Herati – Indonesia
- Kim Hyesoon – South Korea
- Nguyen Do – Vietnam
- Jiang Hao – China
- Ma Ei – Burma
- Vsevelod Nekrasov – Russia
- Banira Giri – Nepal
- Mallika Sengupta – India
- Faiz Ahmed Faiz – Pakistan
- Shakila Azizzada – Afghanistan
- Sureyya Aantmen – Turkey
- Alexis Stamatis – Greece
- Mohamed Metwalli – Egypt
- Euphrase Kezilahabi – Tanzania
- Maxamed Ibraaahim Warsame Hadraawi – Somalia
- Fatiha Morchid – Morocco
- Tanella Boni -Cote d’Ivoire
- Isabella Motadinyane – South Africa
- Inger Christensen – Denmark
- Rosa Jamali – Iran
- Halyna Krouk – Ukraine
- Taja Kramberger – Slovenia
- Hasso Krull – Estonia
- Olli Heikkonen – Finland
- Maarten van der Graaff – Netherlands
- Luis Herndandez – Peru
- Marcio-Andre – Brazil
- Frank Etienne – Haiti
- Dolores Dorantes – Mexico
Australian Indigenous languages
When I got to the end of list above, I couldn’t help but notice there was no one from Australia, my home country, and wonder why? Sadly, in Australia ‘languages are disappearing at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world’.
Australia is very much a monolingual country. This is despite the many people who have migrated there from other countries, speaking different languages, and importantly, the Indigenous people, who spoke about 250 different languages at the time of colonisation, which could be subdivided into over 600 different dialects. Years of government policies and practices aimed at assimilation of the Indigenous and migrants are responsible for this loss and have had a huge impact on Australian culture and identity.
In recent years, efforts have been made to recover and preserve Indigenous Australian languages. It is a difficult task as very few are still spoken today and fewer still are being learnt by children. Indigenous languages were an oral, not written, tradition. The written records we have are from varied and inconsistent sources, which makes it hard to determine how words were pronounced.
In addition to the links above, I recommend you have a look at some of the many poems available online by Oodgeroo Noonuccal, an Australian author, educator and political activist of the Noonuccal people. Her poems are in English, but are deeply rooted in the inflections and nuances of her culture; the subject matter is very political and poignant.
It has been an absolute pleasure to join you all on this journey.
I’d love to learn more about you and your favourite poets and poems. Links and recommendations are most welcome in the comments.