Day Twenty-One

Perhaps I was far too literal – it wouldn’t be the first time – but today’s

prompt – homophonic translation – was terribly hard for me. What’s homophonic translation, you ask? Read (or listen!) to a poem in another language. Try to translate it using just the sounds.

Here’s what I managed:

A mini messy day –
aurora and us,
no tranquil convenient date.
The past. Days,
nights, simple presents
always fetching,

The source poem, by Florbela Espanca:


A minha mocidade outrora eu pus
No tranqüilo convento da Tristeza;
Lá passa dias, noites, sempre presa,
Olhos fechados, magras mãos em cruz…

Lá fora, a Lua, Satanás, seduz!
Desdobra-se em requintes de Beleza…
É como um beijo ardente a Natureza…
A minha cela é como um rio de luz…

Fecha os teus olhos bem! Não vejas nada!
Empalidece mais! E, resignada,
Prende os teus braços a uma cruz maior!

Gela ainda a mortalha que te encerra!
Enche a boca de cinzas e de terra,
Ó minha mocidade toda em flor!


Long ago I placed my youth
In the quiet convent of Sadness. Forever
Cloistered, it spends its days and nights
With eyes closed, frail hands in a cross…

The Moon outside, Satan, tempts me!
It blossoms into shimmers of Beauty…
Nature is like an ardent kiss…
My cell is like a river of light…

Shut tight your eyes! See nothing at all!
Turn yet paler! And, resigned,
Throw your arms around a greater cross!

Make the shroud that wraps you colder!
Fill your mouth with earth and ashes,
O my youth in your full flower!

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