Creative Writing Wednesday: Fun With Google Translate!

Posted: February 1, 2012 in Creative Writing Wednesday
Tags: , ,

I’m having entirely too much fun creating Instant Poetry by taking passages from my favorite novels, translating them into Chinese using Google Translate, and translating them back, adding punctuation and line breaks where necessary. The process isn’t really very creative– it’s entirely derivative, since I’m making nothing up– but I like it. It’s a lot like performing alchemy. I’m taking one small, beautiful thing, and turning it into something else entirely, which manages to still be beautiful.

Also, it’s fun! You should give it a try.

Here’s one of my efforts:

 

Preamble: a silent three parts

This is the night.

 

Waystone hotel laid a silence, which is a three-part silent.

 

The most obvious part

is a hollow, echoing quiet.

 

Things lacking.

 

If there is wind, it sighed through the trees.

Inn sign, its hook creaking,

like the leaves and brush

on the road

trailing silence.

 

If there had been people–

even a very small number of hotels

within the men–

they will have the conversation and laughter filled the silence.

 

Clatter and clamor.

One expects the dark hours in the night.

The house from the water.

 

If there is no music…

 

But of course no music.

 

In fact, none of these things, so remained silent.

 

Waystone man curled up inside the bar for a corner.

They drank, a quiet determination

to avoid serious discussion

of troubling news.

 

In this process, they added

a small, sullen silence.

Large, hollow.

It is made of alloy, a counterpoint.

 

The third silence is not an easy thing to note.

If you listened to an hour,

you may begin to feel.

The foot of the wooden floors

and rough, split barrels behind the bar,

it is the black stone fireplace.

 

A long-held fire.

Hot dead weight.

 

This is a slow back

and a white linen cloth,

rub the bar.

Raised for food.

 

It is the people standing there,

polished mahogany has a light

shining in the hands.

 

The man really red hair.

Red as flame.

 

His eyes are dark and distant.

He must know a lot of subtle things moving.

 

Waystone is his, just as silence is his third.

This is appropriate because it is the largest of the three silent.

others inside of the package itself.

 

This is the outcome of the fall of deep and wide.

This is a great river.

Smooth stone weight.

 

This is a patient, is to die.

 

Cut a person’s voice.

===================================================

May I just mention that I love this poem. It’s taken from the prologue of The Name of the Wind, one of the most beautiful pieces of writing to ever come out of the fantasy genre. I love how the imagery shifts and changes here: from the indecipherable (“even a very small number of hotels within the man”) to the beautiful and profound-sounding (“he must know a lot of subtle things moving”). It’s a transmutation.

Anyway, it’s lots of fun. Feel free to try it if you want to.

~ Ian

PS: Google Translate ©2012 Google. The Name of the Wind ©2007 Patrick Rothfuss.

PPS: Yes, I’m still sick. Yes, I’m still busy. Yes, I still don’t feel up to blogging regularly. Maybe when I’m feeling better I’ll post some more.

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Comments
  1. Rabbit says:

    This is awesome. I think you’ve invented a new genre and hope to see it blossom!

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