spiralsheep: Flowers (skywardprodigal Cog Flowers)
Humph ([personal profile] spiralsheep) wrote in [community profile] forkedtongues2011-04-22 10:00 pm

Translate, a poem by Benjamin Zephaniah

For reasons that will become apparent, I prefer not to translate this poem by Benjamin Zephaniah (although I will interpret and elucidate on request). Note: author's dialect/accent is Brummie (i.e. from Birmingham, England), and English Rastafarian, and with Caribbean Island inheritances.

More Benjamin Zephaniah here: http://spiralsheep.dreamwidth.org/358757.html

Translate

Who will translate
Dis stuff.
Who can decipher
De dread chant
Dat cum fram
De body
An soul
Dubwise?

Wot poet in
Resident,
Wot translator
Wid wot
Embassy,
Wot brilliant
Linguistic mind
Can kick dis,
Dig dis
Bad mudder luvin rap?

Sometimes I wanda
Why I and I
A try so hard fe get
Overstood,
Mek we juss get
Afrocentric,
Dark,
Who in space
Who on eart
Who de hell we writing fa?

Sometimes I wanda
Who will translate
Dis
Fe de inglish?
scifisentai: bookshelf with purple and blue lighting (bookshelf)

[personal profile] scifisentai 2011-04-22 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
*glees* I'm so happy to see this. Benjamin Zephaniah was a guest of honour at my graduation and his speech was amazing. He has this incredible way of using humour to make his points zing home and boy, did they ever. <3 I really need to look up more of his work, clearly, so thank you for the link as well. :)
scifisentai: bookshelf with purple and blue lighting (bookshelf)

[personal profile] scifisentai 2011-04-22 09:41 pm (UTC)(link)
*nods* I'll have to see if any of my local libraries has that one. They should, he's a prominent poet for the city, after all. Birmingham represent! \o/

Yesss. Wordplay is always excellent. :)
scifisentai: bookshelf with purple and blue lighting (bookshelf)

[personal profile] scifisentai 2011-04-22 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I'll look around after Easter, see what turns up. :) /too lazy to poke at the website now

And thank you for the warning. :)
gramina: Photo of a stalk of grass; Gramina references the graminae, the grasses (Default)

[personal profile] gramina 2011-04-22 09:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I really like this, and most of it I can follow just fine -- but: "dubwise" ? Is that explicable, or is it one of those words like "gemutlich" that just doesn't fit other languages?
isis: Isis statue (statue)

[personal profile] isis 2011-04-22 09:52 pm (UTC)(link)
This is very cool!
azuire: (breathe.)

[personal profile] azuire 2011-04-22 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I wonder if there's an audio version somewhere; I feel like I'm missing something reading it on the page.
azuire: (onsen.)

[personal profile] azuire 2011-04-23 10:03 am (UTC)(link)
I had a feeling his poetry was the latter, and I was right! Listened to him performing some on youtube and it's really come alive.

as someone who has multi-English accents, indeed, yes! though I don't think I necessarily need to access Brummie English in order to appreciate the poem, because some spaces belong to others, and one is a guest.
newredshoes: radio tower on top of the world (<3 | boys love girls who ride bikes)

[personal profile] newredshoes 2011-04-22 10:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, I love it! How neat -- thanks for sharing! Time to get lost looking up more neat internet stuffs. :)
quinara: Anya drinking whiskey. (Anya whiskey)

[personal profile] quinara 2011-04-22 11:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Ee!! I can hear the Brummie in this and it's beautiful. (Also the Caribbean influences, naturally. But it's the Brummie where I feel it, in the questioning.)

[personal profile] nh4ever 2011-04-28 07:34 am (UTC)(link)
:)
very nice
thanks