Saturday, February 28, 2009


I was recently introduced to the "mistranslation" exorcise and have immediately and grateful added it to my list of cathartic-save-my-own-ass activities... The exorcise is to take a poem in a language you do not know, (it may be helpful if it's based in the same alphabet, but then again would be a different and amazing exorcise with an alphabet you don't know), and to translate it line by line, based only on the looks and phonetics of the words and letters in front of you. I was given a poem in Finnish which I know nothing about- not even how it sounds when spoken. Forcing myself to focus on something I knew nothing about and couldn't criticize myself for not understanding was an amazing moment of freedom in my day...

By Merja Virolainen

Sain sinut vain yöksi,
silmänräpäykseksi, pariksi.
Senkin vain leikimme
kotia varjojemme kanssa,
minkä se kesti,
pelko painautui kainaloon,
yksinäisyys rakasteli minua.

Niin tulin siunattuun tilaan:
kannan lasta sinulle, kipua.
Nuku sinä, nuku,
minkä yötä kestää,
niin et kuule, kuinka se varttuu,
soi jo isona lantion
vahvistuu, pikku prinsessamme,
huutaa kylkiluuni kruununa,
suu ammollaan kuin taivas,
imee lävitseni kaiken
mitä kuulen, näkee mitä näen,
kasvaa, oppii elämään.

Mirror, Violent Lie

A saint and slut, your veins
Simple paying-- parasitic
Sink veins like mine
Katya, you're vile, me I am cancer
Meet me, say to castrate
Pelt it, pain it, kindly loom
Your saint has robbed, castrated my minute

No tiny saint slut tit
Can last, so sing it quick
None can sing you, none
Meet me, you talk me, castrate, ah...
No instrument could kill like your veins
I go in sleep, insomnia, lay on me kind, passive
Will you pick up a princess name
Or hit, kill, croon, ah...
Your animal craves temperance
Me, I'm only laying here curled
My cunt, naked my name. You
Count, open-- vein alive.

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