speaking of not speaking the language...
"the text of heads
the moustache of snow
the boy is a girl
the condescending tone of laughter
like reading with a helmet on
stepping on your face
seagulls are like a crutch
but the birds are like this
like a field of quail and questions
sitting, sitting in the afternoon
she is truly enchanted
circles and churches of laughter
humming and singing endlessly
invisibly carried by a plane
tending to see more slowly
she prefers a wall with hands on each end
a voyage of looking, like a line
like the mother of jesus breaking
being pushed down a drain
trees, sure, in certain zones."
i've been working with this kind of intuitive translation for years now, but i recently read e. canetti's the agony of flies and found this wonderful related gem:
"and what if the words of different languages had some secret connection to one another."
on many levels this "what if" is the foundation of all my work and working process.