Emergency poetry

The third quarter of 2020 was hard and busy. The kids continue to require much of my time and I also went back to my full-time job and became very ill.

On the fourth Sermon, I have done a little bit of work and decided to (again) change the structure of the narrative, re-arrange a lot of stanzas and fiddle with many of them to make them line up in the new order. I also changed the title (again): it is The Feeling of Humanity now.

My grandmother had to go to the hospital for fairly serious reasons and since she was the person I originally began the German translation of the first Sermon for, I hurried to get it done in time for her to read it there. She liked it very much, making me happy and proud.

Then a friend of mine went to prison and I translated Invictus into German in order to send it to him. I had attempted this translation about five years ago and failed rather comprehensively: I could do the final stanza but, even with considerable effort, not the other three. Various translations already exist, but I don’t like them very much: they either abandon the original’s meter or use such convoluted constructions they’re only just grammatical and barely comprehensible. I thought at the time maybe a translation I would like was just impossible. Trying again, it was surprisingly easy, finished in a single day while doing other things. It is satisfying to see I have gotten better at this, but much of the credit goes to Reimmaschine, which is hands down the best rhyming dictionary I have seen in any language. I wish Reimmaschine did English.

I continue to owe a blog post on GPT-3 poetry. Hopefully I’ll get to that in the next quarter.