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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2018, 18:54 
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Location: Between the mountains and the sea
herrineren
reminds - memories
Linguee Online Dutch - English Translation

We'd loaded the car with luggage,
children in the back, sandwiches
and drinks, taken the North Circular
through London to Colchester then Harwich
and the night boat to Hoek van Holland.
I'd worked all year for this break, the kids loved it
to be with their grandparents. Vader opened up
to me on the last day, spilling his memories.
I translated as best I could.

"They came always at night, denizons of darkness, four
hours to pass, like shoals of titanium barracuda seeking
a feeding frenzy. Sleep then the return, ferrymen

that shuffle death, a rhythmic droning vibrated
the earth, the buildings, our beds trembled,
it shook our legs. Phased-out zombies, Lone Ranger

eyes, irritable and snappy We dared not show we knew,
not to their faces. We struck an accord, they pretended
all was well, we didn't mention the Emperor's new clothes.

Oldenburg cast an aurora 60 miles that lasted until
dawn. From clandestine cat's whiskers: we knew
of the stench of rotting flesh, mangled bodies,

people stripped naked by the blast, buried alive.
Some lost their wits, walked around clawing air.
In one shelter, every occupant found sitting upright

as if waiting for a meal at table, without a mark,
a sear of flame or a cut, yet all dead, their candles
snuffed out, their brains shocked into death."

The British, ruthless in their revenge, never let up
even with losses. One thousand Chadwick's
Avra Lancasters spewed Armageddon on the wind.

We felt sympathy for the occupiers, for their families,
and their lost homes. But mostly we felt sorry
for ourselves, we wanted to live again, to enjoy

our children without that all-consuming fear
that clutched our guts when we met their death's
head insignia. We never want to see war again."


******

Normally a reticent man
Vader spoke unexpectedly,
without prompting, without
any introductory references
as if it had been on his mind
for some time and now
was the time to unload
his recollections.

When they came, they came at night,
times dictated by the lunar calendar.
It took four hours for them to pass,
then a lull, an hour of sleep before
the return, then another four hours.
Not so many on the return and often
we could tell by the sound they were
in trouble.

We knew it was for our good
that they came, sometimes every
night in a week. We were like zombies
with vacant eyes the following day.
The drone would shake the buildings
the vibrations rocked the bed,
it was hell and yet what about those
on the receiving end, how much more
of hell for them.

How long could it go on, the stench
of rotting flesh, the mangled bodies,
women and children stripped naked,
buried alive. Reports came in of whole
areas where people lost their wits,
walked around demented, clawing
at thin air. In one shelter, every occupant
found sitting upright as if waiting
for a meal at table, without a mark,
a sear of flame or cut, yet all dead.
Life sucked from their lungs,
their brains shocked into death.

I didn't interrupt Vader's recollections,
it was necessary for him to relieve
the pain, pass on his herrinering.

At first we hated them, then as the British
exacted their terrible toll, we felt some
sympathy, and now after it is all over
we can begin to reconcile
with de Duitse volk.


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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2018, 10:54 
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Location: Between the mountains and the sea
Revised 10th August


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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2018, 19:41 
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Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30
Posts: 881
Which is the edited version,Frank?


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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2018, 23:12 
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17
Posts: 627
Is this a poem run through Googke yranslate?


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 00:21 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
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Location: Between the mountains and the sea
It's written in English, so no Ken.


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 02:11 
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Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53
Posts: 87
I recall commenting when the original version was posted that I needed more current details to help me see this old soldier and realize he was resurrecting horrible memories of war, his room, bedside table, attendants, the tension in the room. I find that while the new version does an excellent job of describing war, I still don’t connect it to this old soldier. I guess I am more interested in the current story of this man and his demons and family and less with the detailed retelling of the past. All that said it is nicely written.


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 02:37 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
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Location: Between the mountains and the sea
Interesting Dale
It's about a man telling of his occupied country in ww2
and the bombers coming every night
which he approves of, yet it is destroying his life,
he can't sleep. He can't even hate the occupiers
because he is totally focussed on survival for himself
and his family. I suppose I could cut out the images
of the bombing. He is comparing his suffering with
theirs, he can't stop the bombing and he can't do
anything about being occupied, he just wants to sleep
and enjoy his family.


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 02:43 
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Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53
Posts: 87
I guess I’m wondering, is he talking to his son, is there a photo of his wife on the nightstand, is he in a nursing home, in his own home, something that helps put me into the scene.


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 11:00 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
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Location: Between the mountains and the sea
Okay, thanks Dale, done.
Except for Pearl Harbour and the Twin Towers the USA has never experienced
what happened in Europe where whole cities were wiped out. The British
were relentless in their revenge and Vader got no sleep. But in the listening
I realised how blessed we were to have escaped that time. I just felt the need
to write it down.


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 13:26 
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17
Posts: 627
Frank. Sometimes running text through translate renders an unusually worded format. Further, the heading leads one to assume these events may have taken place in Holland or the Netherlands instead of Germany.

Without your explanation, I was totally lost. Now I get it.

The language useage is good, the dichotomy of how the narrator feels is good.

Denizen is the correct spelling.


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 16:48 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
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Location: Between the mountains and the sea
This was written in English
only the word 'herrinerin' was translated.
Thanks for the spelling correction.
it is indeed set in Holland, they were occupied in the war.
They were not bombed but saw the British bomb Oldenburg 60 miles away.
They hated the occupiers especially the deaths-head soldaten.


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