Napowrimo 23 – A Foreign Inferno

Today’s prompt: the homophonic translation. Find a poem in a language you don’t know, and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds. I chose the first ten lines of Canto 5, Dante’s Inferno. It is a bit surreal. The original 10 lines are underneath.


A Foreign Inferno

A rising vapour, unfettered call.
A trail more odd, elated all and bleary.
Loamy old maestro deploys a smile,
Oh, virtue summer, capering nearly.
Evolving commencing, come in to place,
Pallor my ease it is familiar disarray.
The gent cheapens, leaves paltry grace.
Pours troubles over reason, naiveté.
Tinted copper, less than guarded face,
Equal of me, tinted sore in verity.

Canto 5
Ora sen va per un secreto calle,
tra ‘l muro de la terra e li martìri,
lo mio maestro, e io dopo le spalle.
O virtù somma, che per li empi giri
mi volvi», cominciai, «com’a te piace,
parlami, e sodisfammi a’ miei disiri.  «
La gente che per li sepolcri giace
potrebbesi veder? già son levati
tutt’i coperchi, e nessun guardia face».
E quelli a me: «Tutti saran serrati


1 Comment

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One response to “Napowrimo 23 – A Foreign Inferno

  1. It really is astonishing what comes out of this exrercise – very deep yet abstract and off the wall. These couplets are inspired – “Pallor my ease it is familiar disarray /The gent cheapens, leaves paltry grace.” Beautiful, wry and very cool indeed.

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