Equinox tanka

Fun with Google translate, or the perils of trusting a machine to make poetry.

sun moon day night
balanced the space of a day
before earth tips spills
rain fills thirsty mouths washing
summer’s dust-dry taste away

gives this (inaccurate) French translation:

soleil lune jour nuit
équilibré l’espace d’une journée
avant que la terre ne tombe
la pluie remplit la bouche assoiffée de se laver
le goût sec de l’été loin

then back-translated to English:

sun moon day night
balanced for a day
before the earth falls
the rain fills the thirsty mouth to wash off
the dry taste of summer away

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

27 thoughts on “Equinox tanka”

      1. Thank you, Jane! Will use it in future. The temeratures here are around +7 degrees (C), and its dark like in hell. 😉 With a lot of espresso, i will keep the brain in action. Lol

  1. How can you write in English and live comfortably in France? Not that living in France is hard but with less than poor schoolboy French everyday interpretation I find it a challenge. Obviously you are fortunately bi, or multi, lingual.

    1. I’m perfectly fluent in French as I ought to be—I’ve lived here far longer than I’ve lived in an anglophone country.
      I write in my mother tongue though, not often in French because making faults in French is not far off being a criminal offence. Do you live in France?

      1. I live in far off Australia and cannot imagine when we will be allowed to fly next. So many places to go, so little time. As the song says, “There is such a lot of world to see…”
        I read your work to enjoy your phraseology. Thanks.

      2. You can’t see everything. Sometimes we see more simply by looking harder at what is familiar.
        Maybe I say that because I haven’t been out of Aquitaine since we moved here fifteen years ago. There are places I would like to revisit, places I feel attached to, but there’s always the nagging worry that they will have changed and what I loved will have gone.
        I don’t want to just ‘see’ places anymore. There’s always so much beneath the veneer that might tarnish the image.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s