French and my poetry
Eight poems done. It is easier than I thought it would be. Once I have the subject the words seem to flow forward. A search through rhymer.com and the right word pops out. The rhythm is what slows my progress. I find the perfect rhyme, write it out and realize the second line is twice as long. Or one word throws the whole beat. But without that one word, the whole thing makes no sense.
This is where the skills of learning a new language comes into play. Translating “You need to stand over there and keep that area for us,” to French is more difficult than you think. First thing “to stand over there”, change that “to wait over there,” = “attendre la bas”. “To need” does not exist, it is “to have the need” = “avoir le besoin”. “To keep,” is a word that you have to train your brain to never use again. The replacement would be “to mind”, right? Yeah, throw that away. “to guard” is the word you hope they understand.
As I try to translate it, I realize that saying “Can you,” instead of “You need,” works better, and is more polite. When dealing with the French, always try the most polite way. French standards of politeness are miles above English speaking standards. It’s why they come across as really rude because you’ve unintentionally insulted them.
“Peut tu attendre la bas et garder les chaises pour nous, s’il te plait?”
I’ve used informal here, word for word it means: Can you (to) wait over there and (to) guard the chairs for us, please?
This French lesson has a point, not only does it show my excellent French (insert complements/point out all the mistakes here). It shows the skill of finding new ways of saying the exact same thing. When I am really stuck I use a thesaurus.
This week all the poetry I write will be sonnets.
Last night, I started a lecture series on John Milton. This will no doubt sound stupid, but I find it difficult to read poetry. I am a fast reader, and poetry needs to be absorbed slowly. It’s like fine wine: breath it in, roll it around your tongue, before swallowing. I’m a beer drinker. Before I watch the second lecture, I must read On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. I am tempted to do a critique type thing on it. Unfortunately, I am battling with my secondary school English teacher who told me I was too stupid for honors English, in my head. She is the source of my fear of poetry. She is the reason I struggle to read it. If I don’t understand it, she wins. I think it’s time to kick her out.
This is the first book I’ve actually managed to write an ending for. I have no technique on how to write a book. I am figuring it out as I go. I am currently re-writing. My goals for the draft two are:
1. Change point of view to limited omniscient
2. Add 30,000 words
3. Fill out minor plotlines
4. Bring depth to world
I write a minimum of 500 words a night. It will take awhile, but that’s ok with me. I am researching each chapter, sorting out the names and usages of plants. Drawing the landscapes, so I can visualize better. Most importantly I am enjoying myself. The second I start stressing, I walk away. I start coloring. I come back, read out loud what I’ve written. I am always surprised at how much I’ve improved.