If you missed the beginning of this series – click on the image to start at page 1.
Je danse une cadence de mots
Des mots très bien écrits
Qui sont très bien compris
Quand lis par des bons yeux
What does this poem mean?
The first verse, translated word for word from French to English is a very brief summary of how and why I write poetry:
Je danse une cadence de mots = I dance a cadence of words
These six words, whether they be expressed in French or English, are intended to capture attention and to lead the reader into his or her own imagination.
What I meant to convey through this unconventionally structured verse, was how words dance through my head and move through my entire body until I release them from hand to pen to paper – or through a keyboard and into a computer.
The following three lines are somehow meant to state a point through lighthearted humor. But before I get to that point, let me try to translate these three lines to English:
Des mots très bien écrits = Words very well written
Qui sont très bien compris = Which are very well understood
Quand lis par des bons yeux = When read by good eyes
To this day, I’m still not 100% certain whether the structure and spelling of the French version is entirely correct, but I nevertheless chose to go ahead and share this poem.
By no means do I mean this disrespectfully. I have incredible respect and admiration for all languages and especially for those who dedicate themselves to its proper form and use. However, after searching through several French dictionaries and half a dozen online sources, the thirty-two-plus explanations and references I looked up did not resolve one of the several uncertainties I had.
This lead me to surrender to the poem and to its intended meaning:
Words, however they may be written, are often very well understood by well-meaning persons.
Having survived week 1 of French translations, I can now get back to dancing!
Next week will bring another danced themed poem – short and sweet – and in English please.
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