Ezra Pound: Valley Girl (Bernstein Revisited #2: Dialect and Idiolect)

the charles bernstein experiments

“2. Dialect & Idiolect: Translate or compose a poem or other work into a different dialect or idiolect, your own or other. Dialect can include subculture lingo, slang, text messaging shothand, etc. For example, Steve McCaffery’s translation of the Communist Manifesto in West Riding of Yorkshire dialect (at PennSound): audio, text. See also Nathan Kageyam’s translation of Pound’s “The Return” into pidgin (Hawaiian Creole English). Use the dialect engine to translate a text into one of several “dialects,” then use the results to make a poem.” Source.

Original Text:  “A Girl” by Ezra Pound

“The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast –
Downward,
The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child – so high – you are,
And all this is folly to the world.”

Translated into “Valley Girl Speak” by yours truly. (Without the use of a dialect engine)

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