Poetic potpourri today. Last week for Poetry Friday, Diane Mayr had Erasure Poetry, inspired by the Poetry Foundation podcast about it. Erasure poetry is when you take a work (of fiction or poetry or something else) and remove parts of it to create something new. I remember doing that with Beloved by Toni Morrison when I was in school. Consider giving it a try -- it's fun!
Here is a video that does something similar, taking bits and pieces of dialogue to make a song:
Next, Jan Haag -- wow. His goal was to write a poem in all the different forms used in English (and some used in other languages) and, as far as I can tell, he got at least as far as 326! Impressive. Here's his Sicilian Sestet I:
SICILIAN SESTET I
The roads run straight into the lake. Down deep,
five feet or more beneath the water, salt
shifts, filling its subtle grades, blue-green. Leap
away, avoid the coming tide, foam, malt,
the doom that inch by inch, silent, will seep
through any fissure, shatter each small fault.
Lastly, I like Robert Bly's poetry translations. I have his Winged Energy of Delight, which contains this:
You Are The Wind
by Olav Hauge
translated by Robert Bly
I am a boat
You were the wind.
Was that the direction I wanted to go?
Who cares about directions
with a wind like that!
Another great poem translated by Robert Bly is Rumi's Eating Poetry (it's the third one down).
Update: I learned after I posted this about some controversies regarding Bly and his translations, so I thought I would post a few links. I didn't find a good explanation of the problem with Bly (I heard that Dana Gioia wrote about him, but I didn't find it.) The problems I heard about were that Bly didn't speak the languages he was translating and that he wasn't good at translating anyway. The examples that I saw did make a good case for other translators doing a more evocative and precise job, but I just saw a few samples and it doesn't seem fair to write off his entire body of work from those.
At any rate, here are a couple of links:
Robert Bly's 8 stages for translations.
Robert Bly translates Peer Gynt