#NaPoWriMo Homophonic Translation


Trip to Germany 2017

als ich einschlief in seinem weißen Rauschen, blieb ich
innerlich hell, ein nur spaltbreit geöffneter Kühlschrank, mechanisch
vibrierende Schwanenbarke. sie schwamm mit dem trügerischen,
dem Traummaterial im ***-Fach durch den Eiskranz der Nacht,
durch die Abtauflüssigkeit, faules Gemüse, den abgestandenen
Poet’s Lot By: Marion Poschmann

As I engulfed in sign way been rushing bulb I
enter like hell and near splat brat get together call shrank mechanic
vibrant swan bark see swim mitt and triggers
and traumatic I’m fast dirt in risqué for naught
dirt die about flossing kite fools amuse and obfuscate
the very rich

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s optional prompt asks you to make use of today’s resource. Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a “homophonic translation” on it. What does that mean? Well, it means to try to translate the poem simply based on how it sounds. You may not wind up with a credible poem at the end, but this can be a fun way to step outside of your own mind for a bit, and develop a poem that speaks in a distinctive voice.

Good morning readers and welcome to day twenty-one of napowrimo. Where you get to see how bad a person with dyslexia works with homophones. There’s a reason hooked on phonics does not help dyslexic people to read; we cannot break words down into their phonemes. A fact Gretchen found extremely fun in kindergarten and first grade because she did not inherit mom’s dyslexia and she would come home from school and try to teach mom her phonics reading. Meanwhile poor Robin is dyslexic and it took quite some effort on my part to get the school to take him off phonics. Really if you notice a child having difficulty reading and you pull them out of class for extra reading lessons, why are you giving them the same instruction they received in the classroom? It obviously is not working. The reading specialist finally took Robin off phonics and he actually understood what he was being taught and caught up to his grade’s reading level quickly.

Near splat
Get together call
Fools amuse and obfuscate


#NaPoWriMo Day 2 2019


Gretchen as a German teacher

Piecing the Mess Together

Sleep in for a second day
put on a pot of coffee
share Shakespearean sonnet
in German
and read about #redinstead
Arrange puzzle pieces
stress out about finding jeans
to bring your outfit together

Finally alone in the house
How long will it last?

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 2 – Today’s prompt (optional, as always) is based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.

Good morning and welcome to day 2 of NaPoWriMo also #NationalAutismAwarenessDay. Gretchen has asked everyone to wear #redinstead today. Also if you click on the link to the NaPoWriMo.net site, you’ll see the poetry video is in German today. Naturally I had to share it with my little German teacher. As it was another late start today, my peace and quiet will not last long.

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Five


Gretchen text message on Tuesday


Build my essay
in 💩 galore
all night
as class advances alters being
I’m sure to die writing this essay
far cooler topics and my angst is

Das Bild meines Schädels
In Scheiben geschnitten
Zeigt Nichts
Als kleine Verkalkungen altersbedingt
Die sturen Schmerzen kommen sagt der Arzt
Vom Großen und Ganzen Ihre Angst ist
© 2001, Kerstin Hensel

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like the work in Translucence, reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. Begin with a photograph. Now find a poem in a language you don’t know (here’s a good place to look!) Ignore any accompanying English translation (maybe cover it up, or cut-and-paste the original into a new document). Now start translating the poem into English, with the idea that the poem is actually “about” your photograph. Use the look and feel of the words in the original to guide you along as you write, while trying to describe your photograph. It will be a bit of a balancing act, but hopefully it will lead to new and beautiful (and possibly very weird) places.

Good Morning and welcome to day five of #NaPoWriMo where I definitely got weird, though I had a great poem to build off. If you don’t read German, hit the link and you can read the real English translation. It is spring in the US and that means standardized test time for school children. This week Gretchen was taking the English AzMerit which is divided into reading and writing. Tuesday was the writing portion and apparently Gretchen did not like her topic nor did she appreciate Mom’s commiseration. The child really should know me by now.

Speaking of standardized tests, I should be starting my remote reading soon. It may have been a good thing grading hasn’t begun yet because we had a power outage yesterday. No power means no Internet. I also got to see how the new thermostat works without power. It doesn’t since it is a touch screen. AC should always be turned off when your power goes out to prevent a surge when it is restored. Our new AC unit and thermostat takes care of itself. 


New thermostat rebooting when power came back

Gretchen just got out of school when our power cut, and she always sends a text on the bus. I told her we didn’t have power and she replied, Great that means no AC. Yes. Then she realized, That means no Internet. Also means no landline phone since it also runs through the Internet modem and it cost extra for the battery backup which the tech did not recommend since everyone has cell phones nowadays. But luck must have been on Gretchen’s side for her birthday because the power came back on just before she walked in the door.



Piles high
Thrown over basket
Waiting to be washed

Fun trip
Germany this summer
Spend time with family

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 23 – Our prompt for Day Twenty-Three comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who challenges us to write a double elevenie. What’s that? Well, an elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. There are some good examples in the link above.

A double elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all. It might be fun to try to write your double elevenie based on two nouns that are opposites, like sun and moon, or mountain and sea.

Welcome back to day 23 of NaPoWriMo and as you can see, my day job once again influences my poetry – Sorting Laundry. And of course the opposite of work is vacation and the fact my family and I are off to Germany this summer, it became a no brainer for an Elevenie.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 30


Au revoir
to see again
en avril prochain
next April
mais en attendant
but until then
pardon me
parlez-vous allemand
do you speak German
bien sur
of course
hausaufgaben (homework)
house of goblin
geschenk (present)
get shanked
I’m out of here

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far… okay 25 years ago in Hamburg, NY I took 5 years of high school French. Did it pay off? No clue I have only used it to confusalate my children. It actually helped Rachael in middle school once when they got a new student who spoke French. The teacher asked if anyone knew French in Arizona? Well Rachael rose her hand, my mom speaks a little French. It was enough to get Rachael assigned as the new kid’s guide. One phrase mom liked to use, Ferme la bouche. I know it’s not polite but it’s fun to say. Well in 6th grade Rachael’s homeroom teacher was Ms. Bouche; the new student started to laugh. Until then no one else in the class knew their teacher’s name was mouth.

And now Gretchen is taking German in high school. One evening at dinner she said she had math homework. But she said it in German. Rachael looked up at her and asked, you have house of goblin? Phonetic translations are fun. Then a couple weeks ago Gretchen said she will never forget present in German. Apparently her teacher said, I won’t give you a geschenk if you get it right. Ha-ha though since I’ve also been told, Ich bin so dick, means I’m so fat. I don’t think anyone in this house will forget fat in German either.

NaPoWriMo Prompttoday I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language. If you don’t know a foreign language, or are up for a different kind of challenge, you could try a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem (or other text) in a language you don’t know, and then “translate” it based on the look or sound of the words. Stuck for a poem to translate? Why not try this one by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska? Or here’s one by another Laureate, Tomas Transtromer. Happy writing!

Oktoberfest Fun

The Wigwam Resort had its annual Oktoberfest yesterday. Yes, I know it’s still September but hey with a maiden name of Heintz, who am I to complain they’re early. I brought my copy of The Great Gatsby Anthology. Since it is the last weekend of summer, I thought it would be a good time and place to get photos to promote the book.

Horsing around at Oktoberfest

Horsing around at Oktoberfest

Shawn and I invited his mom to come with us. We enjoyed German food, beer and music. As we were looking at the menu, Kathy started to explain the food items. Umm… did you forget your daughter-in-law is German? While we were listening to the band play, I said we should have brought Gretchen and put her German learning to good use. But we all figured she’d complain she doesn’t know enough to translate. Then I realized Shawn and I were married October 12th. Someday we are going to have to have the girl accompany us to Germany for a real Oktoberfest.

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

I checked my page stats before writing this post. So far one view today – 18th Anniversary Limerick. It’s getting about time to work on the one for 19 years.

Teaching German

So Gretchen is taking German and tries to teach us what she is learning. Her cousin came up from Fort Bliss to visit over the long weekend and last night she tried teaching dad, mom and her cousin German.

Gretchen as a German teacher

Gretchen as a German teacher

Important message
teaching reluctant students
remember gold stars

When Mack got a right answer, he asked for a gold star. The teacher said she ran out. I was able to add the gold star sticker when I posted the picture to Facebook. Shhh… the teacher doesn’t know this picture is there. 😉