Bilingual poetry – Tamil/English

Writing poetry is difficult but bilingualising it is another all together. With this in mind it is no wonder that the writer almost started negatively as the poetry of the original is so well-known. The news item starts of by saying that:

Reading a bi-lingual edition of a work-in-translation is akin to living on the border between two friendly nations. You can hop from source text to translated text, making up your mind along the way about several things at once.

Translated by Usha Rajagopalan, this special bilingual edition of the Tamil poet Subramania Bharati’s poems carries that lovely promise.

It is such a shame that the emphasis was not more on that now everyone can have some experience of the original poets words, or that people who have spoken Tamil previously but now speak more English, can get access to the text now rather than the emphasis on the poetry not having the same feel when literally translated. it is such a  shame because from what I read I got some song and drama…so maybe it’s in the mind of the reader and whether you come to it with a positive or negative place.

The writer does relent a little later and says that:

In a small subset of her translations, however, Usha really lets go and thereby almost gets Bharati’s voice. “To the Sun” is one such example:

O Sun! What have you done to darkness?

Driven it away? Killed it? Swallowed it?

Have you smothered it with your embrace,

Hidden it with your light ray hands?

Other translations which do reasonably well are “To the Wind” and “Clarity of mind”. “Kannamma, My Beloved” very nearly works, marred only by the “alas! alas!” of the closing lines.

I for one are happy that these poems have been opened up for me, as I love poetry and I am sure many others will as well.  Lets face it how often do story tellers complain that things have been taken out of context by their peers or it’s not true to the original when all involved speak the same language so I say Bravo and well Done.

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/books/no-song-here/article3968309.ece

There is also another more positive story which can be found below.

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/books/dwelling-on-silence/article3968311.ece

Kingsteignton’s Letter to the Queen

Do you have a special chair to relax in?

Well here is the first book we have created to support the Queens Diamond Jubilee. The children and teachers used literacy  and art lessons to create their poems, question and their pictures of the Queen, guards, castles, new stamp and alternate front covers.  They all did really well. The Lady in Waiting responded

The Queen wishes me to write and thank you all for the splendid pictures, letters and poems you have contributed.

You can find them at our site www.languagesupportuk.com under the LSBooks section.

Arabella Age 8 wrote

Dear Your Majesty,

My name is Arabella and I live in Kingsteignton. I have a very important question for you. Does it hurt when you put your crown on your head? Thank you so much for reading my letter.  I hope you have a super Jubilee.

Leon aged 10 wrote:

Your Majesty,

My name is Leon and I am 10 years old and my favourite thing is the marvel comics and my favourite character is Spiderman. Mam, I have a question I would like to ask you.

If you were God what would you do to help the earth and why? Hope you have a great life on the throne.

Yours faithfully Leon.

Daisy aged 11 wrote an acrostic poem

Joyful celebrations that everyone is looking forward to,

United we stand

Blue, read and white flags flying high in the sky above our heads

Incredibly long time that she has reigned over our nation

Long Live the Queen!

Excitementis flowing through everyone’s veins

Elizabeth 2nd our Queen for 60 years.

Seth aged 9 chose to write a limerick

A Queen with a dazzling crown,

Who lives in such beautiful grounds,

You have seven corgi’s,

That go for a walkie,

And walk to the end of the town.