Thursday, September 18, 2008

If you like it (Paul)

If you asking for subject matter I would be interested in your native language and how you feel it differs from English.

Romanian is an Indo-European language form the Latin group. It is similar to Italian, Spanish, french...however, what makes it unique are the influences from Slavic and Magyar/Turkish.
Thus it has quite a flexible structure, chaotic one might say. This makes it very difficult to learn.
It is this flexible structure I miss the most in English, for I have the tendency to move words around in a sentence or try to change the meaning in the middle and that does not always work.

On thing I find interesting about Romanian is the concern with words for relationships. One cause was the effort that some leaders made in the past to regain the Latin roots by importing words from other languages. The other mm, maybe we are particular about how we define relationships. For example we have two different words for friendship and three for love and/or lover...English has only one and that is limiting one's ability of expression, but it does enhance one's imagination...

Now for difference here is an example I had in mind today:

Not long ago
I longed only
for your smooth silky voice
to caress my inner year.
I SMS you to death.
Oops, I crashed the train.

(on a news line about a train engineer that caused a train accident because he was texting)

Nu demult
mi-era dor
sa-ti aud vocea doar
mangaindu-mi matasos auzul.
Iti trimit mesaje pana la moarte.
Na ca facui trenul praf.

(/corrected/Ups, am facut trenul praf. )

or on an word for word translation:
"not long ago / (equivalent of miss, long)/ to (your) hear voice only/caressing (my) silky hearing./ Today/ to you send messages until death./ Oops, made the train crash."

On a first note : yes, there are no subjects, you can just imply them if if you feel like it and it is grammatically correct.

to (your )hear voice only could be translated as "sa aud vocea ta doar" (to hear your voice only). Your can take both positions in the sentence, the first form is simpler and closer to the spoken language, therefore it brings more melody to the poem.
Silky voice is stock in Romanian, inner ear is to long and it does not sound well in the context, silky caressing that sounds totally awkward in English is just right here.
When writing poetry in Romanian - the rhythm, the melody, the way words sound is very important, for the culture since the oral forms go way beyond the written ones....


gingatao said...

Fantastic. Thankyou. I think it helps to know people's first language to understand their thinking, language and thought being so entwined. Having so many words for relationships certainly says something about the culture. I knew nothing at all about Romanian before. "When writing poetry in Romanian - the rhythm, the melody, the way words sound is very important, for the culture since the oral forms go way beyond the written ones...." This used to be true in English too. The origin of most poetry is the oral tradition and rhyme and rhythm were used to assist memory. The point of poetry wasn't to 'express oneself' but to record and remember traditions, mores, cultural memes. It's only in the last hundred years or so that there has been this rise in 'the cult of personality' and poetry has become about expressing oneself and we have seen the all pervasive self portrait poem spread like some weed. It's no coincidence that the use of rhyme and rhythm has fallen away over this same period, the two events are related. One of the reasons poetry is so popular as a grassroots artfrom now is that it takes no skill to describe oneself in fancy prose and give it linebreaks and call it a poem. Sad days, indeed.I would be fascinated to hear you read your poem in English and Romanian. Your intelligence, beadth of thought and wondrous spirit continue to amaze and delight, Annamari.

Crafty Green Poet said...

this is a really interesting post, i love listening to Romanian, its a beautiful language and its relationship to Italian mean i can sort of understand bits of it sometimes.

Annamari said...

Thank you for the comments again.
Yes, there is a relationship between thinking and language…This explains why Romanians are flexible and creative in a chaotic manner, while Germans keep it all contained – German’s grammar leaves only little room for sudden change and forces one’s mind to figure out the meaning of what they want to say before saying it.
As for poetry and rhythm – I find hard to “feel” English as well as I do my own maternal language –so I thank for the possibility of free verse. However, don’t you think that one has to be self centered enough in order to write poems, stories and generally speaking dedicate itself to art? Nikki Giovanni said that as a poet you think your words are golden, and she is right.
English, I think, has a much longer tradition of written poetry, but I guess, until books and literacy became a more common realty, poets were forced to pay attention to rhythm and rhyme that makes poetry easier to memorize. And fortunately, not all of us , the poem bloggers will get published…I have never been to keen for forms, and to be hones, if I’d have enough time and less distractions I’d write a story rather than a poem –or maybe a combination of both :).

I shall try to read it in both languages and record it.

Annamari said...

I think all languages have their own inner beauty. I am discovering english right now and i am amazed ...

gingatao said...

I think you are amazing and much smarter to me and it is best I do more listening to you and less speaking, like last time. Haha. You are amazing.

Annamari said...

Paul, if you say so...