Week 1 : Cadence

My creative writing quest to tackle translations will certainly have me pulling my hair out before the week is done!

Starting with the title is an easy one. The word cadence is spelled exactly the same in French as it is in English, and it also means exactly the same thing in both languages. But it is pronounced slightly differently:

cadence in English is pronounced “kay-dents”

cadence in French is pronounced “ka-dawhs”

The first line of the poem is a play on words rhyming the word dance with cadence, and it’s just as nonsensical in French as it is in English!

Je danse une cadence de mots = I dance a cadence of words

In this verse, the flow is smoother in French than it is in English and the above is only a direct translation of words. The reason I chose these French words to describe the thought dancing through my mind had to do with one of the reasons for its title – Cadence.

When I first started writing what I’ve come to coin as poetry, I developed line structures on a basic dance technique known as the 8-count:

Sequential dance moves in a choreography are often structured along an 8-count block of music. This is one of the methods I applied to write poetry while attempting to give thoughts and emotions I wanted to express some form of structure.

Fitting the total number of syllables within one verse to repeat itself in the following line isn’t always how I develop a poem, and there’s certainly more to this when taking into account the quick half steps that fit in dance as well as with words.

For example, the first line of this poem has a 7-count rhythm, but a quick half-step in the middle and a pause at the end brings it up to an 8-count. The following three lines are all 6-counts, but again, when enunciation is set at a steady pace, and by pausing at the end of each line, they all flow at an 8-count rhythm.

All this talk of dance has made me restless! I realize there are three more lines for me to translate, but I think it’s time for a much needed dance break!


Keep reading for more about Cadence and the English translation of the poem Cadence.

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