There have been many exciting blog events on WordPress over the years. Some are still going. Some had to go. This one I really miss:
Sometimes it is quite disturbing to be bi-lingual ;-). Today I was looking for a quote from one of my favourite poets: Erich Fried. I went on Goodreads, which usually has a vast collection of quotes and I chose one which I really like:
wie das Wort eigenartig
es fast als fremdartig hinstellt
eine eigene Art zu haben.”
― Erich Fried
Well, you probably realised it directly: it is in German. I didn’t. Must still be my mother tongue then :-).
Ok, some words about Erich Fried just in case you don’t know him. He was an Austrian poet who lived most of his life in the UK. He is in English speaking countries mainly known for his marvellous love poems, e.g. my favourite “Es ist was es ist/It is what it is“. In German-speaking countries, he is more known for his political poetry and especially for his peace work.
This is quite ironic as his last name “Fried” is a short form for the German word for peace: “Frieden”. “Fried” would have been used for “peace” in the dialect I grew up with.
His translations of Shakespeare are just beautiful. I can appreciate this even more now that I live in Great Britain. And yes: He became even more important for me when I realised that he chose the same country to settle in than me even though due to much darker reasons.
But back to his quote, which is a little difficult to translate because the whole thing is a wordplay that does not really work in English.
how the word odd
makes it look nearly strange
to have your own way”
this is how you would translate it the right way, but if you translate it literally it sounds like this:
how the word ownway
makes it look nearly strangeway
to have your own way.”
Well, maybe that does not make it any more transparent, but maybe it makes you laugh a little. The point is though that writers are often seen as strange because they do their own thing and have their own way in how to shape their lives. This quote reminded me that even though it might look odd or strange to other people my way of living and of creating my life is necessary to be able to create art.
I hope this motivates you a little more to do things your way and maybe it also motivates you to play a little with words and create some “ownways” and “strangeways” 🙂
This post takes part in Colleen’s motivational “Writer’s Quote Wednesday“. Please head over and find some more inspiration!