Six of us met at MOSAIC, a multicultural centre in Chatswood yesterday and after the meet and greet Terry, our only native English speaker read the Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc. We thoroughly enjoyed his performance. Please click on the links in colour to hear the poem read by Georgia Lewis on Youtube or learn a little more about the poet on the Poetry Foundation website if you wish.
Helen read a Chinese poem by the artist and poet 老樹 Lao Shu in Mandarin and Cantonese and although the poet is a Mandarin speaker, everyone agreed that the poem sounded more musical in Cantonese because of its greater tonal range. She also read two translations in English, one of hers and one by me then surprised us with her French translation of the poem! What a treat! The poem and translations will appear on a separate post when Helen has finished working on them.
Margaret Lo, our visitor for the day recited a Shakespearean sonnet, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day. We thank her for looking in on us.
Alice recited two lines of Korean poetry by a contemporary poet. We all thought it sounded lyrical. I believe they meant something like: Do not kick the ashes when the fire dies; did it not warm you while it burn? I was inspired to write a poem about that and will present it to the group next week.
Unfortunately Julianna who speaks and reads Hungarian and German had to leave early so we will hear from her next week. Time was also running out so in the final minutes we took a look at two translations of Jacques Prévert’s Breakfast (click link to hear a reading with text on Youtube or this to see a video with Chopin accompanying the reading and an English translation at the end). The two translations we read were similar on the whole though their word choices in English differ. However, one of them did not translate two key words (Et moi/And I) and thus, we believe, fell flat.
We hope to welcome two new members next week. They have enrolled and paid their fees ($41 per semester of 16 weeks or $31 for seniors) so we expect to see them soon.
It was an informal first session but next week we will get down to business; yes, business as we need to plan a project to take advantage of an opportunity that awaits us. More about that next week: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. February 13, 2019.
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