Turn (#NaPoWriMo Day 5)

#NaPoWriMo, Other Poetry Add comments


Today’s was a prompt I thought would be easy and fun, but which took me aaaages – and the end result doesn’t make much sense even to me 😉

I was to choose a picture, and a poem in a language that I don’t understand.  I was then to pretend that the poem I chose was about my picture, and ‘translate’ it by looking at the words and thinking about how I could make English words from them that would fit my image.

Well, I chose a pic of an apple because I finished reading “The Magicians Nephew” to the kids last night (after a loooong hiatus).  In the story, Digory is presented with an apple (by Aslan) from Narnia to take back to our world, for his sick mother.

I chose an Icelandic poem by Didda and didn’t read the English translation.  I was going to use all the poem below, but my ‘translation’ took over an hour, so I only used part of it.  Do check out the full Icelandic poem in the link in the second paragraph above 😉

I tried to keep any repeated words meaning the same (made up) translation, but I played with word order and synonyms as well…oh, and punctuation…!



Það er eitthvað ótrúlega magnað við nautstungur. Þær eru svo

Pass him ethereal utterances magnified via nightair – pass her our
sterkar, stórar og rífandi.

stalker stare, and music.

Ég þekkti eitt sinn naut sem hét Turn og hausinn á honum

we beckon: at night he comes, heads turn, and girls or boys
var svo stór að ég hefði getað búið um mig inni í honum.

keep our watch.  We heave up great structures, strengthen the men,
Hann hataði mig og bölvaði mér í hvert sinn sem hann sá

have the power to be happy; oblivious to the green sea, he is  
mig og það var mikilvægt að vera alltaf hauslengdina frá

mighty, and bad are those out to meddle in or significantly alter his livelihood.
honum annars barði hann mann utan í Iærin með hausnum

A man has years he must battle until the lessons of the village,
svo maður kastaðist um fóðurganginn.

our manors and customs, ensure he belongs.
En ég gleymdi að gera ráð fyrir tungunni. Svo að i eitt skiptið

When we claimed the raging fire was out: tyranny.  Our outlook changed.


þegar ég var að sópa frá kúnum þá sneri ég baki í hann. Og sem

Our beggars use cunning for soup, snare our bread.  We came
ég stóð beint fyrir framan hann þá fann ég fyrir þykkildi, eins

and stood outside, feeling the flames rise til no fan could tame them.
og lófa á risastórum manni, koma milli Iæra minna og leggjast

And an apple ‘restored’ us: millions now comatose, many mired and lethargic,
þétt upp í klofið á mér. Þrýstingurinn var svo mikill þegar hann

or beaten up in their personal sea.  Prestigious are our meddling beggars’
dró mig til sín að ég þurfti að sleppa takinu á kústinum og grípa

dreams, strength is there until sin leaves us bereft – taking our sleep as, unaccustomed  
í básinn hjá Randíði.

to its grip, we drown in the basin of randomness.


© Didda
From: Lastafans og lausar skrúfur
Publisher: Forlagið’, Reykjavík, 1996


Actually, having reread my version of this poem a few more times, I’m beginning to think that the ‘apple’ in the frame here may be representative of a technology company of the same name…

Thoughts in the comments, please 😉


[Pic is from here]


Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2018  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Leave a Reply