Friday, 30 March 2012

Week5: SwEngPolish Poetry

One part of Swenglish is that I do housework or other random jobs in exchange for food and a roof over my head. Since I started the project five weeks ago I've done everything from collecting firewood on the beach to cleaning a mouldy cupboard, from playing with a child to helping someone sort out an e-mail list. But my absolute favourite job so far was to translate a poem from English to Swedish, and stand in as a reader at a poetry event.

Last night I truly shadowed poet and playwright Maria Jastrzębska when she did a reading at the Pighog Press poetry event at the Red Roaster in Brighton. Maria is originally from Poland and she was supposed to read a poem in Polish at the same time as her partner read the English version, but sadly her partner wasn't very well on the day so I covered for her, reading the English bit. The poem is called At The Border and is published in Anthologia - a Polish English bilingual publication.

In the second half Maria and I did both an English and Swedish version of her poem Why do you laugh? I really enjoyed translating this dark poem and was honoured to be asked. I hope to able to do more interesting jobs like this during my Swenglish year! (But honestly I don't mind doing the washing up for people!)

To find out more about Maria and her latest poetry collection, Everyday Angels, please click here


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