Our (optional) prompt for the day asks you to engage with different languages and cultures through the lens of proverbs and idiomatic phrases. Many different cultures have proverbs or phrases that have largely the same meaning, but are expressed in different ways. For example, in English we say “his bark is worse than his bite,” but the same idea in Spanish would be stated as “the lion isn’t as fierce as his painting.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to find an idiomatic phrase from a different language or culture, and use it as the jumping-off point for your poem. Here’s are a few lists to help get you started: One, two, three.
I honestly have no idea what to write
I’m trying to think
‘I’m eating the head’
My brain’s flickering like a old tube-light
This prompt does stink
My daughter says, ‘Its not the prompt that’s the problem here
It’s day twenty-two! Mamma, not now- don’t put the fiddle on the roof’
So, ‘I’m eating the head’
I’m not giving up. Not now, when the end is near
This is the proof!
Just need to get this thing done
By hook or by crook
I’m eating the head
Whoever said, ‘Participating is fun’
Should come take a look!
Go on now; ‘I’m trying to think’
me estoy comiendo el coco
As the Spaniards say, ‘I’m eating the head’
With this I sign off this thing
and say, ‘Goodbye,’ and off I go!
In Spanish, ‘I’m eating the head,’ means ‘I’m trying to think’ – me estoy comiendo el coco
In Welsh, ‘To put fiddle on the roof,’ means ‘To give up.’ – rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô
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Today, our poetry resource is the South Asian Literary Recordings Project, where you will find audio files of readings given by prominent poets, playwrights, and novelists from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, in twenty-two different languages.