Translation-Generator Poetry

This is almost as cool as finding poetry:

1) Take a poem that’s already in English.

2) Using a translation generator like http://babelxl.com/ or http://translate.google.com/, translate the poem into a different language—like French. Then, translate the French translation into another language—like Chinese. Then, translate the Chinese translation into another language—like Turkish. Translate it a number of times. For best results, translate it into languages that have different ancestors.

3) Translate it back to English.

Here’s Robert Frost’s well-known poem “Fire and Ice”

Some say the world will end in fire.
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire,
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it were to parish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
to know that for destruction ice
is also great
and would suffice.

Translated from English to German, then to Russian, then to Finnish, then to Chinese, then back to English, courtesy of http://babelxl.com/:

Some people say this is the end of the world in fire. Some say in ice. From what I feel like I tried with fire support. But if she is two parish, I believe, you know, you want to know what to do to break the ice is enough hatred, it is enough.

Or, same original poem, but from English to Arabic to Japanese back to English:

Some say fire at the end of the world. Some ice says. I wish the tasting and maintains fire supporters. But I know whether you know 10 minutes of hate is two times the parish, destroy the ice. How wonderful would not suffice

The possibilities are endless!

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Review of Maya Jewell Zeller’s Rust Fish

A review I wrote of Maya Jewell Zeller’s Rust Fish was published recently in Gently Read Literature. Zeller’s is a smart collection of poetry–and more than appropriate for a course on ecopoetry.

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