A Flower Knows

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt challenges us to move beyond our comfort zone.  It involves selecting a photograph, and then finding a poem in a language we do not speak, and writing a ‘translation’ assuming the poem is about the photograph we chose.

The photograph is from my own collection.  The poem is from a Norwegian poet, Gro Dahle (selected randomly).  Here is the original:

Det er ikke alltid
like lett å være pave
sier paven
Han gjemmer seg under bordet
og roper hunden til seg
Der sitter han til det er mørkt
og alle har sluttet å lete
Når alt er stille
i Vatikanet
kryper han fram
fra under duken
og gir hunden
rent vann i skålen
Så spiser han bokstavskjeks
ved vinduet


Here is my ‘translation’, which is in essence is only a mirroring of the structure, as I do not speak Norwegian:

There is life here
even as a flower wilts

while wilting
has surrendered self to rebirth
is not burdened by self
there is no room for ego here
nor does merit hold space
death is stillness
has no expectation
is mere passage
a silent pause
before the next breath
that violent push to blossom
live again.  

(Aside:  I went back after writing this to see the actual translation of the original, which of course, has nothing to do with my imaginary concoction.  I discovered a delightful poem, that intrigued me to read more.  To see the original and its translation visit:  http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poem/item/22704/auto/0/It-isnt-always)

Thank you to Maureen Thorson for hosting and providing such interesting prompts.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

5 thoughts on “A Flower Knows

  1. You chose Norwegian too. I’m finding the language rather delightful. Saw the same words that I found in the poem I had chosen- ” ikkat”, ” jeg”. Feels like I know a little of the language already😊.
    Your poem is Beautifully written. ‘Death is stillness…finalty…a push to blossom”.

    Liked by 1 person

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