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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Parkin

NaPoWriMo 4.30 – Ate Night Moat

This is my day 30 (final one for the year) effort for National Poetry Writing Month.

It’s a homophonic translation (according to sound, not meaning – I don’t know Norwegian!) of this Norwegian poem by Jan Erik Vold.

And as a final flourish, I decided to have a go at an experimental ‘quick and dirty’ video poem (having recently bought a new laptop and some editing sofware).

The purposes of the exercise was mainly having a go at one of my own, using bits and pieces I happened to have filmed on my mobile phone, and to continue getting to grips with my editing sofware.(Also, I really enjoy homophonic translations for their nonsense quality!)

So it’s far from polished, nor does it really have a ‘concept’! But that’s NaPoWriMo sometimes…Hopefully there are some interesting juxtapositions – and it’s made me want to experiment more with poetry, video and sound together.

NaPoWriMo been a really enjoyable endeavour this year and I’ve written various things I’m certainly going to develop – so I’ll see you all in 2017 🙂

Here’s the original poem, followed by the text version of my homophonic translation, followed by the actual translation (which is not, as you might imagine, very similar):


Et nytt møte – og all den smerte

dét innebærer. Likevel

gleder vi oss, likevel trekker vi

i alle salighetens spaker håndtak og hendler, jackpot

på jackpot! mens myntene raser

ut, de er flere og kommer fortere enn vi kan samle

dem opp – la gå med det, la gå med det.

Å veksle disse sjetongene inn, det er der

det virkelige arbeidet ligger.

**My homophonic translation**

Ate Night Moat

Ate night moat, ogled and smarter

debt imbiber. Like evil

gladder vile, like evil Trekkie vile

Eye all her Sally eaters speaker handbag or handler, jackpot

pi jackpot! Men’s minty razor

out, deer flair hog Frontera envy can smelly

them up – lager Med debt, lager Med debt.

A Vesper disses shit on jeans in, debtor dear

debt twerker liger* albeit liger.

* a liger actually is “the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.”

**Real translation**

A New Meeting

A new meeting – and all the pain

bound to follow. Even so

we’re happy about it, pulling at all the

handles, levers and sticks of joy, jackpot

upon jackpot! while the coins gush out

so fast and so many that we cannot

collect them – never mind about that, never mind.

Cashing in these chips, that’s where

the real work begins.

© 1988, Jan Erik Vold From: En som het Abel Ek Publisher: Gyldendal, Oslo, 1988, 82-05-17792-9

© Translation: 1988, Jan Erik Vold First published on Poetry International, 2012

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