Wednesday, January 10, 2018
"In Translation" by Yoni Hammer-Kossoy, Frequent Contributor & Poet of the Week
I say window and you see curtain
or think glassy sigh of sunlight.
It’s like crossing a rope bridge
while it falls plank after plank into the mist
and being left to dangle
by a frayed end of hemp.
You say page and beach don’t rhyme,
but I say their Hebrew echoes do.
Oh this doubled life, blank and rewritten
one line at a time. Nothing’s so naked
as what comes before words,
so beautifully ruined as what’s after.
Poet’s Notes: I experience writing as a multi-layered, if almost futile act of translation: first to describe something wordless in words for myself, and then, to try and convey this image, feeling, etc. to another person. But words can be tricky, slippery, and worst of all, wrong. Add to this the challenge of negotiating different languages that people think and speak and it’s a wonder anyone ever understands another.