"Life is the dancer and you are the dance."
Eckhart Tolle

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Clocks Outside of Rooms" Big Tent Poetry #46-mix things up a bit with poetry toys

They’re on a sideways journey
Not felt by anyone
Whippoorwills cry in the night, trepidation’s initiated
Si amano su un viaggio obliquo
Non ha ritenuto da chiunque
There’s a room we must leave
when we’re gone, it will still hold shoes, boxes and pictures
but the room doesn’t worry
memories will weaken with movement

They’re on an inverted travel
Not sensed by anybody
Owls stare through the darkness, qualms are manipulated
Ils sont sur un voyage inversé
Non senti par quiconque
There’s a clock engraved in a brick wall
it reads 7:45, the hands are eroding as you watch
but time doesn’t care even as walls crumble
to concrete walkways at your feet

Outside a tree with red plum tomatoes
growing on its trunk, blooms every year
Neglected by the observer
Recall sitting in a room observing a clock
ricordi sedersi in una stanza
osservando un orologio

Remembrances are left in sequence
for innocence to gather up, to toss aside

Process notes: 
First four lines are from an old poem. 
I used babelfish to translate to Italian and French.


  1. How did you find the exrecise. It wasn't for me, though you seem to have had fun with it :)

  2. Well put together, Pamela! The ending speaks volumes. I like the image of the clock's hands falling apart. Strong ending.

  3. Wonderful poem! I liked what you did, very much!

  4. An intriguing poem—I love the weaving in of different languages.

  5. Tilly, admittedly it was fun, but I am not so sure that babelfish is a reliable translator. I know that google is not, only because I have written a few poems in Spanish and checked with the translator to see the differences. I know Spanish, but know nothing of French or Italian, only that the similarities are because they are Latin based languages.

  6. Thanks Brenda, I think I would like it better without the Italian and French, but that is for another day:)

  7. Thanks Linda, it was an interesting exercise.

  8. Wonderful. I read it and then read it through again immediately. It works. I really liked "sideways journey" and "inverted travel" and then you really got me with that last stanza. I also like the Italian: "viaggio obliquo".

  9. Thanks Mr. Walker, I am just not sure of the accuracy of the translation. I suppose I should have gone with Spanish, now that I know:)

  10. This was really special. Loved the concept and execution...just terrific. Vb

  11. Thanks vb, yours was quite amusing:)

  12. Pamela-

    Brilliant and lovely piece w/ vivid images... I like "the room doesn't worry"...


  13. Thanks, Laurie, I am not totally satisfied with its turnout, but it was fun.

  14. Nicely crafted, Pamela. I pass on this exercise though. Hard to do, but it was not my 'cup of tea.' LOL.

  15. Understandable, Mary, I not thrilled with the results, since I don't speak Italian or French;)
    therefore, I am not sure if the translations are correct.

    March 25, 2011 2:25 PM

  16. I could tell you where the inconsistencies are in French, but I don't think it matters one whit. This is beautiful, one of my favorites of yours... those lines you began with are great themselves, and then the permutations you found from them really blossomed. Rock on. :)

  17. Thanks Joseph:) I should of all people know that translators are not reliable, but it is all in the fun of poeming. I have written a few poems in Spanish,then have taken the same text and run it through google translator,what a muckety muck that turned into every time.

  18. Your poem is like a Dali painting: it sent my mind off in all directions, trying to keep up with the thought processes. I enjoyed the linguistic gymnastics! Google is better than babelfish, but there's not much in it.

  19. Thanks Viv:) the first bit came from a poem I wrote, awhile ago, but never posted, because I didn't care for it much. The last bit about the tomatoes came from a dream I had the other night, strange, I know.
    As for the translators, none seem to be very reliable.

  20. I like the way you manage the multiple languages, sort of a call-and-response.
    Wherever the clock engraved in the brick wall came from, it works. I'd hang on to it and its erosion.

  21. I really enjoyed this Pamela,it has so many directions. It leaves me thinking about time as related to us in a personal way, and time related to us in an ominous, unstoppable way.

  22. Thanks Barb, if I had this to do over again, I might change a few things:)

  23. Oh, it is, definitely going in different directions;)Thanks Jeanne.

  24. Impressive piece of intriguing thoughts and words. Some fine lines and I know those came right from you. :)

  25. Love it, using the foreign words creates another layer.

  26. You did well. I tried but gave it up!

    Here is mine:

  27. I was intrigued by the poem as a whole, with its different languages, returns and departures from images we felt as having similar origins, and think it successful as it is.

  28. This flows as though you had written it without the tools -- so I'd say you did an excellent job with the prompt! Great poem.

  29. I do think of the strangest things sometimes, Susan:) The dream about the tomatoes was one of the weirdest lately.

  30. Thanks Gautami, I not a quitter at anything in life:)

  31. Thanks Brenda, much appreciated:)

  32. I'll probably never know, if those translations are correct, nan

  33. Love the closing lines: "Remembrances are left in sequence\for innocence to gather up, to toss aside" Interesting exercise, wasn't it?