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

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (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

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 2 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]