Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

Found In Translation - Poem by Tony Jolley

After a while you don't think about it anymore:
Don't translate,
Don't worry,
Don't try.
On est Là
[Or at least close enough to 'Là' to Rock 'n' Roll]

OK, it has to be admitted -
There are moments and messages
That fall through the listening 'net',
Odd things that appear, well, odd,
Or suffer in non-translation,
Especially at dinner parties,
Where the cut and chase of exchanges
Can get away from you
Faster than a Ferrari from a feu rouge.
But that's just how it is –
There's no 'playback' facility in real time
And 'rewind' comes with too much of a price,
Is a bargain bought and bought dear:
A chance to maybe, (just maybe)
Understand marginally better
The fast-fading echoes of phrases past,
Set against the almost certainty
Of the loss of the present sentence.
It's a no-brainer;
No goer,
No pointer:
A conversational, translation,
Lose-lose situation.

So cut yourself some slack,
Get out of the linguistic pressure cooker,
Turn down the self-inflicted heat
To the temperature of a well-chambréd Claret
And relax into it as you would
Snuggling up with a good book
Under a duck-down duvet
Gently pre-warmed by electric blanket
And having your lover come climb in beside.

Now that type of translation
Is pretty much guaranteed appreciation.


Comments about Found In Translation by Tony Jolley

  • (3/20/2009 6:44:00 PM)

    Yes, and when a person is a bit hard of hearing in the midst of the party din, it is better to smile and keep re-filling the Claret. Well written as usual. Jim (Report)Reply

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  • (3/17/2009 5:52:00 AM)

    'Faster than a Ferrari from a feu rouge' is sheer genuis, Sophie would have appreciated it! Lovely poem and the end of the poem doesn't need much language or translation! . (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009



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