transcreation II

Last week, in the post Coast to Coast, I briefly mentioned transcreation. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a portmanteau word derived from translation and creation.

Translation is seldom easy and, depending on your definition of the word, translation of poetry may be considered impossible: should you focus on form or content? on sound, on patterns of metre or rhyme, or on meaning?
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coming up empty

They say that one of the best ways to actually ensure you carry out a commitment is to make it public, which is presumably why there is always so much fuss and discussion of New Year’s resolutions: the theory is that if you tell everyone you’re giving up drinking or going on a diet, etc., you’ll lose face if you fail to follow through.

Perhaps it’s true, too, that if you make your aspirations public and tell everyone how high you are aiming, they may be supportive and try and help you achieve your aims.
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the blank page

So many ideas tangled together.

Try and track them as they bifurcate, diverge… Others interrupt, approaching from a different, contradictory perspective. Some are brighter, some less so. Some are more established, carry more weight; others taper into nothing. Impossible to keep track of all of them.

So many thoughts and ideas. So many blank pages.

street sign covered in snow

bugs and plants

Some readers have noticed that I haven’t been quite as constant, nor, perhaps, as committed to the blog over the last few weeks; I’ll admit that there have been things going on that have distracted me, but hope these are now mostly settling down and I will be able to re-focus.

It might seem likely that not posting as often would mean that when I did eventually sit down to write I’d be brimming with ideas.
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intentionally left blank

Wondering what to write – and, indeed, wondering whether I actually would manage to get whatever I wrote posted as the phone company have let me down – I remembered the “Thing That Must Not Happen” as described in Dorothy Sayers’ Murder Must Advertise:

Now, when you see in a newspaper a blank white space, bearing the legend: “THIS SPACE RESERVED FOR SO-AND-SO LTD.,” it may mean nothing very much to you, but to those who know anything of the working of advertising agencies, those words carry the ultimate, ignominious brand of incompetency and failure. So-and-so’s agents have fallen down on their job; nothing can be alleged in mitigation. It is the Thing That Must Not Happen.

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creative grit

The guy at the pub is right: poems are hard.

Sometimes you have a great idea – the tiny bit of grit with potential to grow into a beautiful pearl – but however much you turn and tweak and worry it, it seems to refuse to gather form and realise its potential.

When this happens, all you can do is put the notes to one side and let your subconscious go on working while you get on and do other things.
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taking notes

Yesterday I mentioned that I haven’t been writing recently. This is, of course, a lie: there are always fragments of ideas that get jotted down or filed away in memory until the right context and focus is found.

Those that remain in memory will surface sporadically, looking for something to connect to. And I’ll come across odd phrases scribbled on paper some time in the future when I’m clearing up and maybe type them onto the computer or add them to a file of papers where they are less likely to get lost.

Eventually some of them will link up and a poem may start to brew, or I may find a use for some of them alongside a photo here on the blog.
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