1000 views of "Girl Singing"
How many ways can a poem be viewed? A lot, that's what! Just as any other art form, a poem can mean a lot of things to different people. Interestingly, just right after I have done the translation of Dylan Thomas' poem, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight", an online friend, the associate editor of Our Own Voice,Aileen Ibardaloza, wrote me asking if I would be interested to join a translation of Filam poet Eileen Tabios' The Secret Life of an Angel after Jose Garcia Villa's poem "Girl Singing".
I could not pass on this one. I knew this could be a good challenge. Neither Eileen nor Jose Villa are unknown to me. I even urged my poet friend, Arlene, to purchase the book The Anchored Angel which is a collection of poems by the late poet and was edited by Ms. Tabios. Arlene gave it to me as a gift during one of my visits to Canada.
Anyway, John had the idea of making a project of coming up with a thousand views of "Girl Singing" and in Aileen's email, there were already about 30 poets and visual artists around the world who have participated. I guess I am number 31 as I jumped immediately at the opportunity. Since there was no translation done in Filipino yet, I tried doing a direct translation into our native tongue. This was very helpful as I began to understand the poem better. Next, I experimented on a concrete poem. Please take a look at my attempts. You can find them here and the concrete poem here. Maybe you'd like to give it a try as well.