glass_icarus: (bibliophile)
just another fork-tongued dragon lady ([personal profile] glass_icarus) wrote in [community profile] forkedtongues2011-02-22 02:00 pm

Poem: Dedication


The fact that I
am writing to you
in English
already falsifies what I
wanted to tell you.
My subject:
how to explain to you
that I don’t belong to English
though I belong nowhere else,
if not here
in English.

— Gustavo Pérez Firmat
dhobikikutti: earthen diya (Default)

[personal profile] dhobikikutti 2011-02-23 05:44 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, lovely, thanks for sharing!
jazzypom: (Default)

That's interesting

[personal profile] jazzypom 2011-02-23 11:17 am (UTC)(link)
As someone who's had arguments and discussions re: the tensions between standard English and creole, it's true in a way. Like, when I'm speaking to others in creole, it's intimate but in the sense of fun, and teasing and yet giving advice. But when you try to put that in English, there's a distance, a sort of barrier.

But yet, if the persona said the poem in his own language, I wouldn't be able to understand it, nor appreciate it. Therein lies the irony; one can resent English, the colonialist's tongue, but it's terribly useful to understand and master in order to communicate with cultures tied to 'the other'.

To quote Tricky from Christiansands

Always/ what does that mean?/ forever, what does that mean?/ it means we'll manage, mastering your language/ and in the meantime, I'm going to make my own.

Tell it, Tricky. Bringing post colonial thought into the heart of the beast, and in addition, making them rock out to it.
Why's everyone posting poems this month? Is there some sort of issue I'm missing out on, again?
Edited 2011-02-23 11:18 (UTC)
dhobikikutti: earthen diya (Default)

Re: That's interesting

[personal profile] dhobikikutti 2011-02-23 11:26 am (UTC)(link)
Heh, I don't thnk you're missing out on anything. The comm is often rather quiet, unfortunately, but I think people are inspired by one person's post to make their own.

For instance, if you felt like maying a post here about Tricky and Christiansands, I for one, would be delighted. ::hint, hint::

[personal profile] nh4ever 2011-02-24 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
grin.. thats just brill (as in know..brill...iant).

"when you try to put that in English, there's a distance.." So true Jazzypom!!
In fact, it is probably just a bias but I think even people with English as a mother tongue have a certain reserve or distance when they speak.. even to each other!!
And though I can hardly write fluently in Hindi, my poems in that tongue have so much less..formality. Even languages i don't understand like Bengali or Spanish seem to have much less distance intrinsically (if such a thing is possible)!