The Ridiculosity

This is a homophonic translation of Non sono in queste rive by Torquato Tasso. I’m sharing it because I laughed myself silly when I read the finished product.

The idea is to find a poem in a foreign language and read it aloud and write down the words that it sounds like. It’s a great warm-up writing exercise and gets the muse going in crazy directions. Try it yourself! There are some other Italian poems on the site where I found this one.

Non sono in queste rive
fiori così vermigli
come le labbra de la donna mia,
né ’l suon de l’aure estive
tra fonti e rose e gigli
fa del suo canto più dolce armonia.
Canto che m’ardi e piaci,
t’interrompano solo i nostri baci.
Homophonic Translation
No sound in the questing river
Fire, Cosi, the vermin!
Kamala’s Lab Bra, Belladonna for me?
Nay, I’ll swoon for Laura’s tiva.
Tray of fontina, eh, Rose all giggly?
Fatal sew, canned toe, pewy! Dolts — ammonia!
Canned toe, shay marley, pea hockey?
Tinder romp! Oh no, so low, eee! Nah only street hockey.
True Translation
Are not in these shores
crimson flowers
like the lips of my lady,
in the sound of the summer breeze
amidst fountains, and roses and lilies
does its song make the sweetest harmony.
Song that inflames, and pleases me,
may you be interrupted only by our kisses.

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