sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

the fine art of procrastination

on July 18, 2011

The past twelve months that I spent writing my honours dissertation taught me so much, including the profound art of needless procrastination.

I have just added a new procrastination skill to my repertoire: entering Gerard Manley Hopkins poetry into Bad Translator.

Here are the results from one of these – the first few lines from a Hopkins poem, before and after translation.

Original text:

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? – Gerard Manley Hopkins”

…40 translations later we get:

“God is great. The biggest advantage that the oil left. It is therefore important for workers – Lee Huopujinsi 杰拉 德曼”

I decided to try it on the first few lines of one of my own poems, “further lamentations and frustrations: ode to anonymous” (2011).

Original text:

“I died a thousands deaths because of him. Though he slay me, it was never really his fault – the way he invaded my dreams so that the pain was no longer confined to waking hours… – F. Lokot”

…30 translations later we get:

“They killed a few thousand dollars for their deaths. I am not a victim, is bad – I sleep, I wake up … the disease, as well as Lokoja,”

I am having too much fun with this.

Here’s another of my poems, “Convincing Myself: I Can Wait” (2010).

Original text:

“Were there a chance to meet you here When in meeting I could stand my ground and look you in the eye And no longer desire to devour you Then I would seek you out and find you. I must wait. – F. Lokot (2010)”

…40 translations later we get:

“I think it can work, and he did not want to eat, look, you can. We need to continue. – Big D (2010)”


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