The Use of Poetry as a Teleportation device to a Different World.

Poetry has a lot of styles and characteristics that have been written since the dawn of time. Poets use a style of language that paints a picture into the reader’s mind. I believe that in “Buzzing Hemisphere” by Urayoan Noel, the author used how he structured his word in order to provide poetry that is able to bring an image into the reader’s head. An example in “Buzzing Hemisphere” would be the “The Grand Conquerors”. pexels-photo-378570.jpeg

in search of a grand conquest
en busca del gran concurso
a banker that seeks a canker
banquer
o que busca su cuero
a tanker that seeks a bunker
turista que busca su estadio
a tourist that seeks a stadium
alcalde que busca su apoyo
a mayor that seeks a podium
raper
o que busca su estilo
a broker that seeks a break
From the beginning of the poem, the author is quick to paint an image to the reader’s mind. The author is in my opinion started off the poem in a precise manner by writing in words the things he is observing in New York, specifically in the South Bronx. For someone that hasn’t been to New York and have only observed it behind a screen, the observation of the author seems spot on based on a few things. New York is assumed to be a very busy city, the term “New York Minute” originates based on how fast the city moves. The author included subjects like a “tanker, tourist, mayor” etc with a verb that there are doing the moment that he was observing them like seeking ” a canker, a bunker, a stadium, a podium” and etc.
As a native speaker of both Spanish and English, I was fortunate enough to be transported to the same world being reassured that the message was right. The beauty of knowing two languages is that I can use it to my advantage to understand translated literature.
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Corruption In Africa.

It is of no surprise that governments from various countries in the world have some form of corruption. Tram 83 sheds light on how corrupt the political and justice environment environment is in Africa. Bribery for example are as common as everyday business transactions where policemen can be bought and so do politicians for the lobbyist’s and briber’s personal interests.

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A report from Transparency.org has an estimate of over 75 million  paying bribes in some shape or form.  Many of these bribes are used to avoid punishments from crimes despite how heinous they could be. Unfortunately it may seem like in countries like South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria are like the Wild West where corruption is a daily normal thing. The poorest of the population are the ones that suffer because they have to pay bribes for public services that are needed to improve their daily lives.

The silver lining of this dumpster fire of a situation is that there is hope for change. Countries like Botswana, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Senegal has shown positive signs of anticorruption. There has been initiates where the public have been seeking efforts to help whistleblowers be protected from retaliation and improve how effective reporting corruption could be.

In a society where violence is the norm, it is important that the most vulnerable demographic of the African continent are safe. The government would have to change from within itself in order to have positive outcomes and provide a better future for future generations. Any country in Africa has the potential for change and it would be a shame that their own people would be the cause of their own demise. The continent won’t change overnight but if initiatives can be made today, a better tomorrow could be possible.

Dehumanization in Utopia

Vector illustration. Hierarchy of human needs by Abraham Maslow“We use a lot of spices because they can hide the taste of anything. Gaber explained. They hide the taste of spoiled chicken, sour beans and rotten eggs. Spices are the one commodity whose price hasn’t hone up, because we need them to stay alive”

This section of Utopia made me wonder of the different struggles people go through in their daily lives. Truth be told, every single human faces some form of struggle in their lives whether it be economics, basic survival or even social acceptance from people close to them. The dehumanization aspect of Utopia specifically the quote above made me think of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for one simple reason: food.

An example of how dehumanization it is to eat scraps, scraps that are rotten will be wild animals. Wild animals like a lion could easily go hunt for a gazelle or a zebra and will be content with their fresh prey.  Lions are seen as the kings of the jungle therefore it would seem rather ironic if they acted like vultures who normally are seen eating rotting carcasses of animals that were killed in some form of way in the wild.

“Sometimes we eat these things of course for variety’s sake, but not like this, they were almost spoiled leftovers from several earlier meals, which she (Safiya) mixed together and heated on the stove. Then she poured oil over the mixture, took a handful of spices and scattered them over the pan”.

Gaber had to compromise on having to survive by eating spoiled food just to meet his physiological needs. He could have fished or hunted but even then , that is dehumanizing too especially to a modern perspective where we can easily go to a market or restaurant and get food with minimal effort.

Gaber represents the lower class where in most cases especially in developing countries are desperate enough to eat many questionable things. Populations in Latin America and South East Asia for example often eat insects like grasshoppers, worms, crickets and etc which to many of Westernized people would never dream of doing. The people subjected to eating insects do so just for survival, just to met that physiological need of their daily lives just to survive, even if it dehumanizes them.

 

Can Literature be lost in translation?

pexels-photo-784707.jpegLiterature is a form of intimate gateway from the author’s personal world to the reader. I believe that there is some connection on whether a translation of a piece of literature can be “lost” by how it could not be translated 100% to the core.

As I was reading “Signs Preceding the End of the World” , I understood that this novel was originally written in Spanish. Being bilingual, I would try to compare how the author read the novel in Spanish while I read it in English and there are a variety of differences. The Spanish version of the novel was more emotional and had a more intimate tone. I say this because the author would use words and phrases that don’t exactly translate directly to English 100%. Although the English version was mostly spot on in translation, the Spanish version grasp my attention more.

I felt that in Signs Preceding the End of the World, the story of Makina would be better understood to Spanish speakers as well. As a Spanish speaker, I would understand the struggles that Makina would go through as she entered a new world in the United States. It is a country where people of Latino descent face many struggles and Makina explained that when she wrote a poem to an officer that was acting condescending towards her. In Spanish, the poem felt more emotional and more in depth with Makina’s personal feelings about Americans and how they mistreat Latinos. The English version of the poem was also emotional but I personally felt that because Makina’s native language was Spanish, her thoughts shown in the novel was a direct connection from her thoughts.

We are to blame for this destruction, we who don’t speak your tongue and don’t know how to keep quiet either. We who didn’t come by boat, who dirty up your doorsteps with our dust, who break your barbed wire. We who came to take your jobs, who dream of wiping your shit, who long to work all hours. We who fill your shiny clean streets with the smell of food, who brought you violence you’d never known, who deliver your dope, who deserve to be chained by neck and feet. We who are happy to die for you, what else could we do? We, the ones who are waiting for who knows what. We, the dark, the short, the greasy, the shifty, the fat, the anemic. We the barbarians.

Herrera, Yuri. Signs Preceding the End of the World (Kindle Locations 761-765). And Other Stories Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Overall, I do believe that Literature can lose it’s original tone and emotion when being translated into another language. The original language can have certain aspects where it cannot be translated 100%.