Thursday, April 15, 2021

NPM III: Blessings

Thinking about joining the Summer Poem Swap? You can do as many as five swaps (one every two weeks for ten weeks) or as few as one! Let me know by April 30th.


I love that people have joined in my NPM project! My mailbox is open -- drop me a few bilingual lines!

First up, we have dear Heidi Mordhorst, who sent a poem in English and French and surprised me with this info, which I don't remember it from taking French:
to bless (English): give a benediction to, confer prosperity & happiness
blesser (French): hurt, injure, wound, offend


I've been driven by a mad impulse to include a poem in each of the languages that I've studied (however briefly) so this week's challenge was Latin. Since what I remember best from Latin is Christmas carols, I looked at a couple that I remember the most ("O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night") and that was my launchpad. Weird, but you do what you can, right?


rainy dawn
the blooms greet us,
tender and exultant.
today, they sing.

pluviæ aurora
et salutabitis floret nobis,
tenera exsultat.
hodie autem cantabo.


My faithful companion on this NPM project, Janet Fagal, wrote a poem based on a photo by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche (“This Photo Wants to Be a Poem”). Janet had translation assistance thanks to Renee LaTulippe.

Nature’s Playground
Giant Oak Park, New Orleans
by Janet Clare Fagal

Ride the dragon!
Or pirate ship,
walk a tightrope
maybe skip?

Giant oak,
kids’ delight.
Limbs laid low
C’mon let’s go!

Run and play
This tree’s perfection
Let’s play all day!

Cavalca un drago!
Naviga su una nave pirata!
Cammina su una fune—
o magari salta?

Quercia gigante,
gioia dei bambini.
Rami bassi—
forza, andiamo!

Corri e gioca.
La perfezione fatta albero—
giochiamo l’intera giornata!


Jama Rattigan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jama!


Kimberly Hutmacher said...

Periwinkle Hyacinth has to be the most beautiful poem I've read this week and maybe in a long while. I love reading the poems in other languages as well.

jama said...

Such a wonderful project. Love all the different languages! And I agree, Periwinkle Hyacinth is perfection. :)

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Latin?! Well I'm sure that earns you some kind of special award. At the very least, most committed to an NPM project. ;) Blooms certainly do seem to sing Gloria! Heidi's poem is truly exquisite and I like the playful enthusiasm of Janet's.

tanita✿davis said...

Ooh, but that Latin, though. I need to show this to Tricia, whose second language - also Latin - she despaired of for writing poetry. Well done.

Linda B said...

Ah! C'est marveilleau, Tabitha. You've reminded me of a few carols I know in French. Latin words I know, but to write a poem in it, wow. I love the idea of blessings from below from Heidi & Janet's exuberance for play is wonderful in both languages. Your 'gloria' is a special celebration. Thanks for all!

skanny17 said...

Oh those singing blossoms, glistening in the soft spring rains, bursting with Gloria. Bravo! And Heidi's remarkable poem. It has many layers and when read with the French meaning for blesser it changes to an even more poignant, almost disturbing image. Do you know Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. There is a song Marieke that is one that I think of. Thanks for again sharing my poem. I studied Linguistics in college and loved it, so this idea really speaks to me. PS I found out (not hard) that on Google translate you can hear the spoken version, which is nice.

Janice Scully said...

Tabatha, I so admire this project! It's wonderful as are Heidi's, Janet and your poems. The photos are spectacular! Great post.

Irene Latham said...

So much beauty! Thank you, Tabatha and Janet and Heidi! xo

Ruth said...

Fun! This is a great idea!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

The bilingual is a very satisfying challenge, Tabatha! Your Latin is so lovely==the connection to old carols!--and how fun to gioca en italiano!

Buffy Silverman said...

So impressed with all who've written to your challenge. Yours reads like it should be said in church. And Heidi's speaks to my happy spring soul.

Bridget Magee said...

Wunderbar alles, Tabatha! Vielen dank! :)

laurasalas said...

Holy words! What a Babel of beautiful images and languages!

Michelle Kogan said...

I'm enjoying these dual language poems–lovely blooms and song in yours Tabatha. Hyacinths are very much like "landmines especially with their fragrance. Thanks for all!

Mary Lee said...

I shared your project with my students (many are already bilingual, a handful are having fun with the DuoLingo app) and now we've got a class collection of bilingual poems started!

Carol Varsalona said...

All your offerings this week are lovely, Tabatha. I especially like your hyacinth poem with the Latin translation (remembering mt high school studies).

I can't remember if I signed up for the Summer Swap but I am interested as always.