Sunday, November 13, 2016

Each Time Again

A couple of summers ago I wrote a poem about peace called "Each Time." I posted it here (October 20th and 26th, 2014) and on my Facebook page. Since then the poem has been translated into a dozen or so more languages—thanks in large part to Olga Pastuchiv, who speaks a number of languages including Ukrainian and Russian and Greek.

Olga has enlisted the help of her many friends to turn my words into languages as diverse and Basque and Albanian, Norwegian and Estonian. For anyone who likes languages as much as I do this is a real treat. But these translations go beyond any satisfaction I might feel at seeing them, scrutinizing the words, wondering what it would be like to speak these languages, going to the places where they are spoken, widening my view of the world. They go beyond this because, the poem is a quiet call to peace. It asks that peace start with the individual seeking it.

In the wake of Tuesday's election, with an uncertain future stretching far ahead of us, this poem becomes more important than ever. Here is the link to a pdf. of the translation done so far (January 2017).

My debt to Olga is immeasurable. Here is a brief look at her work and a link to a website about a mural she and a friend did.

Olga and I have discussed via email how wonderful it would be to get artists to represent their language by asking them to illustrate the poem according to their understanding of the words. Maybe some day this will happen, but for now, I have simply repeated the simple illustrations I did for the poem.