Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sleeplessness-----Transcreated work

When I started my tuesday posts, I mentioned that I will write about myself and occasionally interpret some famous work of a poet in my own way. Until now I was writing mostly about myself. This time I am taking a short poem by Maya Angelou...

Insomniac by
Maya Angelou

There are some nights when
sleep plays coy,
aloof and disdainful.
And all the wiles
that I employ to win
its service to my side
are useless as wounded pride,
and much more painful.

Now I will try to transcreate it in my own words:


with all my might
I try to win over sleep
with knives and daggers
slashing through its soul.
colour beyond my eyes
see nothing but stars-
in that cicada filled darkness.
lost in a labyrinth,
I lose a lonely battle
giving way to dust laden path of dawn.
I entirely blame myself
for trying to hold on to something
as transient as night.

"it recognises my ruse and turns a blind eye"

I write this with due apologies to Maya Angelou.


anthonynorth said...

Well I think it's excellently done.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

Actually, I like your work better. Really! :)

Anonymous said...

heh, can relate to that. :)
great job!

Deb said...

Another confessor. Yea! I like this, and relate to it too well.

Mine is not a poem.

Confession Tuesday (deb)

Anonymous said...

Goodness Gautami, such a powerful struggle you wage. Would it be all right if we sit down for some tea and chat looking at the stars and talk about poetry?


Daily Panic said...

"in that cicada filled darkness"
they are sooo loud when you can't sleep.

I like your descriptive poem best.

Noah the Great said...

I like your work better, too.

January said...

I agree, I like your work better than the original.

b+ (Retire In Style Blog) said...

I love the "transcreate" notion. And I love what you did with Maya Angelou poem.


..of yes, for sleeplessness, I find that a tablespoon of peanut butter and a glass of milk works!:)

Anonymous said...

What a great idea, gautami! I love Maya Angelou's poem, but yours stands beside it so well! What a wonderful analysis of insomnia. A great practice, your transcreation.

L said...

i like it, and i think Maya would too.

Anonymous said...

I like yours better than Angelou's, the fluctuation of emotions gets me

Anya Padyam said...

Wow! it is superb indeed; the concept was really cool - to transcreate! kudos to you on this excellent piece!

Anonymous said...

I like your poem better. "cicada filled darkness" great line.

Mahfuuz said...

I reiterate what everyone above me has said...

Reminded me of my poem: http://mahfuuz.blogspot.com/2006/12/poem-nightmare.html#links

Rethabile said...

Both poems rock. I've never tried to transcreate poetry, but it looks like it could be fun.

Area 17 said...

I like the term "transcreate", very interesting!

My sleep has been a little bit like this recently, what with juggling a Masters Degree, and family business, and various other time-heavy events.

all my very best,

The With Words International Online Haiku Competition

Anonymous said...

To tell you the truth, I have never much liked Maya Angelou, I like yours much better, it is wilder and less restrained and more desperate like real insomnia when you start to hallucinate and go a bit crazy, your is the better poem, i think, more alive and real,

poefusion said...

You've written a beautiful transcreation. I think your work stands proudly beside Maya's poem. You both have strong voices and I think Maya would be equally proud of this work. Nice job. Have a nice day.

ozymandiaz said...

doesn't seem to me that apologies are neccessary

Anonymous said...

maya has always reminded me of a cultured hippie somehow... and have enjoyed some of her writings... it is a fine poem you have picked... wish you well on your tuesday journeys... yr poem has you written all over it.. it is wonderful how our voices speak so clear from our hearts w/o much effort... with all my might... i can so relate to that... humbling i say, no apology required as yr transcreation has wings of its own and see no shadow of the former...

polona said...

these are two completely different poems and i like them both

Area 17 said...

I agree with Polona.

And I think transcreating other poems is a very interesting idea, look forward to seeing more!

all my best,

Deadline is very close!
The With Words Online Haiku Competition
Profits from this competition go towards literacy work with children.