Tuesday, November 01, 2005


An N.O., USA

By Sophie Bodegon

Sie haben die Windungen meiner Fluesse
gerade gelegt

das Wasser meiner Marsch
austroknen lassen

die Macht meiner Stroeme

Naja, bis Morgen
wenn Katrina kommt.

You are wondering why I have a German poem in my blog for English students. Sophie Bodegon, who founded Philippine News and Features, is currently Asia Secretary for United Evangelical Mission, working with the churches in the tsunami areas of North Sumatra, Nias, Mentawai and Sri Lanka. She wrote the poem, she says, while studying the German language in Germany, where she is currently based. I asked her to translate the poem for me into English, and she did:

To N.O., USA

You have
straightened the curves
of my streams
dried up
the waters of my marches
held captive
the power of my rivers

Oh well, till tomorrow
when Katrina comes.

A poem in any language, you see, is still a poem. If you've been my student in English 11 and listened to me well, you would know why this is a well-written poem.