Cook’s Salty Zen
Tries in geek, Cook may or not know better.
For all were mistaken, kin that garlic was–
soysauce, Ma’am. Has also strips that were all too
clearly zen. Try it with another’s coal–
do, or it taste like oolong.
Synesthesia: try it with knocked knees, Yong.
Pack it in your ear, like this. Try a jeer, not
nice, so all is best. So long, like here, salt it
took, too, like nectar of sea. Dance with me here in
Merry-make, Netty, old grapes, some
search or long of, we tell and phone. Sound is pratter
such may, Ma’am, over jilt’s sake, envy the pea.
How long’s ill, that alleges not dour, we wanna hear
what is worse, go on! Just heard her open it,
niece, for all’s lang syne we aren’t so fare.
Up bed, daughter, or a patchy in own, himself, over
tickles her. How will her, my sin, pay, key? Scissors?
Women gin up dizzy, now wherefore on a tea?
We’re, how was it not, all like ending, touch wool
this: in geek, Cook were all crooked, what mind, her.
The key, he’ll say, what mind her, see far.
Daily Prompt: “Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a ‘homophonic translation’ on it. What does that mean? Well, it means to try to translate the poem simply based on how it sounds,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.
My source poem: FERKÂLDEN, in Frisian, by Nyk de Vries, https://www.poetryinternational.org/pi/poem/30070/auto/0/0/Nyk-de-Vries/Down-with-a-Cold/en/tile (Please read it–it’s beautiful in Frisian and in translation.)
Author’s note: Sure, the poem’s nonsense, but there’s a bit of a story in it, too. Writing this was a very interesting experience for me. As an autistic person, I experience challenge in social communication processing, particularly in translating spoken word into language. It’s not that I have trouble hearing–my sense of hearing is very keen. It’s that I hear sounds and music, even when people talk, and translating those sounds into language–into actual words that combine to create sentences and containers for meaning–is challenging (and taxing, too). So the process of reading the poem in Frisian, hearing the sounds in my mind, and then translating them into language is very much the experience I have whenever I participate in conversation or need to listen to lectures, spoken instructions, oral presentations, or meetings. Telephone calls, voice chat, and Zoom meetings are especially hard for me and can, basically, ruin me for the rest of the day–or even week. Also, with the poem being partially nonsense and partially containing meaning, that’s a lot of what my experience with spoken word is. I try to reconstruct what sense might be there, and often, I have the feeling that my understanding is not exactly what has been said. Even when my transcription has been 100% correct, I’ll often interpret it literally or precisely, and that’s usually not the intent of the speaker.