News in the news, and devilish fun with translation

In the self-serving-don’t-mess-with-my-lifestyle department, a recent Pew poll says that over half of Americans surveyed don’t feel humans are responsible for global warming.

In the interesting angle department, Raj Patel draws some interesting conclusions from a recent Lancet article and the ensuing media headlining.

And in the bee-keeping department, here’s a cool manual on bee-keeping produced by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.

Such fun with words we’re having. We started off doing translation exercises, similar to this “Homophonic Translation” routine, which we did using a latin text. Last night it occurred to me that I might be able to find a way into revision work by using an online translation tool, so I’ve been blasting a few pieces apart by translating them into Japanese, Greek, Portuguese, Korean, Russian, French, Italian and Spanish — and back again, sometimes more than once. It’s been a fun way to take apart a dull line or sentence and see what might enliven it. Or perhaps start me off in a new poem or image.

Here are the opening lines of an old poem of mine I chose at random:

The path of disaster is so often
just beyond the window we’ve turned
away from for that critical

and the translated version (via Japanese and Greek)(with a few tweaks to make the syntax work, more or less):

Such a certain street of destruction
a precise and often window
that exceeds our regard
with empty importance
turns because this

So, a different world and a different meaning, and a lot of nonsense, but maybe something in there presents an opening for new directions and energy.

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