GloPoWriMo: Day 5

It’s the fifth day of GloPoWriMo and today’s prompt was to write a poem that reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. You had to begin with a photograph and find a poem in a language you don’t know. Ignoring any accompanying English translation translate the poem into English, with the idea that the poem is actually “about” your photograph. Use the look and feel of the words in the original to guide you along as you write, while trying to describe your photograph. It will be a bit of a balancing act, but hopefully it will lead to new and beautiful (and possibly very weird) places.

I chose Ana Luísa Amaral’s poem Passado, which is Portuguese and this photograph.  I hope you enjoy the poem I created from these.


Oh towel softness
What will the children write in French class?
My mind is vacant; my fur dripping
I am all over will illness
And to be contradictory, with beauty
But I know it is coming to the end
There are no more words or grammar to learn

To pass there must be simple corrections
Newly fluent, newly here
This towel is so soft
My lady Denise has small gentle hands
Beautiful and firm
She pays me wonderful attention
Over my forgetfulness
And my surrender

I will be decorated at the end
For understanding so pure
I will have many towels so soft
And will never want for food
Fillets of the finest salmon
I shall live in softest luxury

Once upon a time there was a little boy
Who showed the greatest understanding

Oh very late he was born
But longed for his mother did not rebuke him
Although he caused much pain, especially when teething
He made me, usually docile, ever so grouchy

Now he is five years old and very large
The love of the lady escapes me

As always happens
Without a compass one gets lost
When one is a great distance from home
Today I submitted to the response of the weather
It was only logical it should rain when I did cry
It came to assist my spirit
From skies
Heavy and fast
From my soul to depress me
Five minutes from home
I was composed by soft towel
And given a parade

How fascinating that comfort
I surrender to the fineness
Giving way to fault
Cherish the moment, the velvety towel
The gentle hands holding me
Taking away ache and pain
Soothing my thoughts
My thoughts smoothed by the towel

Oh naturally I will be distinguished
But once upon a time there was a little boy
And then a little girl, a small woman
I was simply passed over

Oh soft moonlight
My little comfort
Press me to my towel
Pour my pain into you

Take away the pain
And so
I laugh
A little consequence of being held close

You others
Will leave

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