jornales

for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

Unabashed (a sparrow speaks in three tongues)

unabashed–
a sparrow speaks in three tongues
twirling on willow twigs

It’s the subject of my post yesterday but I can’t seem to let it go! “My soul speaks in three languages” as in the three tanka I wrote from English, which I translated roughly into Spanish (and had it edited by Sr. Javier Galvan y Guijo, director of Instituto Cervantes in Oran, Algeria formerly of Manila where we met) and in Iluko, is an awarness that has been consuming me–this composing of words from three different dimensions that I believe are of my soul but not finding the right stage to unleash it, let it leap, dance, sing, sigh.

Finally, last month I dared to submit three tanka in three tongues to qarrtsiluni–an online literary journal where I’ve been reading awesome poetry–with an introductory essay I had posted here about the “willow” not having an equivalent in Iluko, the tongue I was born with. The editors accepted it, an honor I’m still riding on an upwind.

Unabashed, I would like to share here what Alex Cigale, translation theme editor, said as well as Jean who posted her comment on the qarrtsiluni site, and Patrick who sent it to my inbox. I hope you, dear readers, bear with me in this moment of exhilaration!

Alex Cigale (editor, translation issue, qarrtsiluni) January 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm | #1

What a treasure you sent our way, Alegria! So perfect for us, this window onto a language constructed according to logical grammatic structures that are yet so different from those we otherwise take for granted, qualities such as number, possession, direction, tense, intensity. And what a perfect illustration of the notion that there can be no words that do not represent real objects, so that such culturally-specific idioms are nearly ICONS, your example: “saning-i … portrays … usually a woman in a dark corner, splayed on the floor….” And the recording, the Iluko sounded last and thus echoing so musically, its music so liquid I am tempted to imagine that it was formed among the various sounds of water surrounding the islands. A big thank you!

Jean (tastingrhubarb)
January 13, 2011 at 6:47 am | #3

Oh, these are exquisite and exquisitely satisfying! Listening to the podcast is essential. This is a richness of experience of poetry and language and translation that no publication with only printed words could provide. So beautiful.


Patrick Gillespie (poemshape)
January 13, 2011, 7:14 PM

Finally, I get to hear your beautiful language. Such is the beauty of the language that I could fool myself into thinking that anyone who spoke it would write poetry such as yours. I have always loved the sound of the Mongolian Language, but I think Iluko is just as alluring and beautiful. I would love to speak it.

It’s also beautiful to see how you bring the sensibility of haiku into your longer poems. It’s something I’ve wondered about trying myself, but haven’t yet. Again, how wonderful to hear Iluko. There’s a Japanese expression which I can’t think of right now. It expresses the aesthetic of beautiful sorrow or beautiful sadness. Your poetry is so often imbued with it.

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January 14, 2011 - Posted by | culturati news/views, haiku, language views, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. Very cool idea!

    Comment by Miriam Sagan | January 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Miriam!

      Comment by alee9 | January 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. Congratulations, Alegria! I’m so glad you are getting recognition for your wonderful poetry. These comments by the qarrtsiluni editors are things I have thought about your Iluko poetry as well.

    Comment by Melissa Allen | January 15, 2011 | Reply

    • But more than them, Melissa, you have held my hand as I had struggled with fragile steps to get on with my haiku that has since enriched my other poetry writing. Again, I wonder if there were other more meaningful words to say, ‘thank you’!

      Comment by alee9 | January 16, 2011 | Reply

  3. Wonderful! I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I can’t wait!

    Comment by Margaret Dornaus | January 15, 2011 | Reply

  4. Now I have listened to the podcast. Exquisite! I’m so proud of you, mi hermana. Your tanka, in any language, beautiful.

    Comment by Margaret Dornaus | January 16, 2011 | Reply

    • And I’m so blessed with an hermana like you!

      Comment by alee9 | January 16, 2011 | Reply


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