NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 6


Today’s prompt is to take a look around Poetry International for a poem in a language you don’t know, read the poem to yourself, thinking about the sound and shape of the words, and the degree to which they remind you of words in your own language. Use those correspondences as the basis for a new poem.

Memory Song (based on “Min mor sa” by Athena Farrokhzad)
by ARHuelsenbeck

Memory song: The day I went to the alder forest to dig,
at my own name civilizations stammer.

Memory song: My mother is mad, embarrassed by my behavior.

Memory song: You are a darn fool, rank and snide.
Memory song: If you betray understanding and formaldehyde,
skulls come later to drag you under.

Memory song: Understand the alder Vikings have better manners than to go sing
the old formulas for sane songs. They are like mojitos on the underside.
Memory song: You were in your lifetime a French bore.

Memory song: In a kid’s grave there are more medium fingernails
so the modern skulls slip down and fall.

Memory song: Your hair is dragging the metasilk
and scalding the dig. I produced caffeinated
but the yolktinders didn’t fare intact.

I don’t remember so well anymore,
but when I unearth a memory,
I sing it into a song to try to make sense of it.
What a strange life I’ve led.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

4 responses »

    • I didn’t read the English translation until after I read your comment–I didn’t want to be influenced. There were a lot of poems on the the site in Dutch–but it’s too much like German; I recognized a lot of words. I read one from Belgium. It don’t know if it was in Flemish or not, but I still recognized words. Maybe Flemish is like Dutch. But I don’t know any Swedish, so it was easier to let my imagination come up with its own translation.


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