Friday, October 9, 2009

Lost in Translation

We’re running out of metaphors. For night, black, darkness— caliginosity is a synonym, but oh, so nonpoetic. God forbid you try a flower or a storm, even if you get specific. Oh, it’s all been done. Try translating from another language, when the right phrase can't be said. Personal pain is trite, and insignificant compared to that of others. C’mon, there was a Holocaust, and genocide’s not dead. American kids go hungry. All we can search for is a better word for hope. There are only eight notes in a scale, and they’ve all been played. Is there a term for slowing our rhythm to one minute at a time? By Lisa E. Paige © 2009 When writing this poem I thought of teenage angst, my Philosophy of the Mind course in college, and The Anxiety of Influence, by Harold Bloom. I recently read a poem in The Atlantic that directly refered to four great American poets -- no subtle allusions, even. Everyone writes one like that, and I did, once, too. A poet has to let go of feeling unoriginal, or will never write one word.

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