I really enjoyed reading through Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders, in which she explores through text and art many words from across different cultures that don’t translate into other cultures. These are words that touch on tangled emotions, or focused insights, or specific cultural reference points. It’s all a beautiful reminder of how language is often elusive.
A few words really spoke to me, so I started to write some small poems inspired by them.
You’ll bury me,I hope, long beforeI, you.Long beforedays slipto nights,long beforelost comesinto viewinspired by the Arabic word — Ya ‘Aburnee
How much waterwill your hand holdwhen the rain fallsthis Monday morning,with the whole world asleep,but you?— inspired by the Arabic word — Gurfa
When she asks what you’re thinking …when the words break your gaze …when you find yourself sitting where you didn’t know …when the trail of poems runs suddenly cold …when the soft vacant hue of the distance disappears …when … when … when … whe …. wh … w ….inspired by the Japanese word — Boketto
To see sunlightbend its waythrough the green leavesof the trees is to wonderwhat else remainsout of sight until our eyessuddenly openinspired by the Japanese word — Komorebi