Sunday, 19 January 2014

Being an editor

I have been given one poem to do whatever I like with for my written portraits exhibition. I want to type it out so I can display the handwritten version and a printed version.

The problems I have encountered already as I have been typing it onto a text edit file are:

Which are commas and which are full stops?
What do I do about lower case letters at the start of some lines where I think they could be upper case?
Do I try to play around with blank lines to create stanzas?

So I need to type it out exactly as handwritten, then chat to the poet about what he'd like.

Of course the handwritten version includes all the ambiguities, but all anyone needs to do is read and contain these queries in their head as they read along.

So typing out a poem is a much bigger intervention than I had anticipated. It is in fact a translation, an alteration processs.

Have all the songs of Umm Kultum, that will take a while!

'Habibi' means 'my darling' by the way. You will hear this a lot. 'Ya habibi' is untranslatable, something like 'you, my darling' but it isn't 'you' at all, more an extra layer of greeting. like 'hiya' in English, but a more personal. Yes, untranslatable.

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