Friday, 17 July 2015

The Interpreter's House - Newspaper/Passive/2

Launch of issue 59 of The Interpreter's House

These names jumped out at me:

Andrey Ardern-Jones - (poem about plucking at the buttercups on the sheets)

Nancy Campbell - (poems about Greenland)

James Caruth - (poem about his grandfather, including the OT quotation)

Anas Hassan - The Front Row

Michelle D. Lauder - Lances

Mostly I looked carefully, but sometimes I looked at the floor to listen better.

With one poet I had to shut my eyes, to simply listen. Have I done that before? Who was it?

A friend and I took a very long way round to get back to our cars, so we could talk the more.

I needed to sit down on a low wall so I could tell her about the line I loved the best, God is my hiding place and about his gentle accent.

That phrase is from the OT, in translation of course, none of us know Hebrew, but it's that close to us here in English, bathed in the words of the Old Testament in all those different translations.


Earlier H saw a photo of Princes Diana on the back of my very old Arabic newspaper. Amazingly he listened when I showed him the letters of 'Diana' and spoke the words al-amiira diiana, he and I repeated this again and again, getting the emphasis in the right and wrong places! I don't know how Diana is pronounced in Arabic, so was at sea there.

How exciting, I chanced on a couple of lines about the vowels u and i which make the passive. I had no expectation of actually learning it.  Then I saw a passive in a translated book title in a poetry prize review. Then... I realised that wulidtu uses exactly those vowels (I was born), so I half know it already :)

Taking no chances, I have booked for 2 different Arabic classes this autumn. They can't both fall through. One requires an assessment. Will I have to go and talk to them? I hope so.

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