I am thinking of different sorts of interesting things I can do to play with words while I learn Spanish. It feels strange that there is not an apps out there that make this easy. Google lens can translate a page of a book and it LOOKS like magnetic poetry but you can’t actually take the words apart and rearrange them as far as I know so if I want to do magnetic poetry I have to come up with a satisfying way to do that whether it be online or printed on actual magnets.
Blackout poetry though is much easier: just paste the words you want to play with, highlight in a bright colour the words you want to use in your poem, and then make the background black so all the words you don’t want disappear and voila you have a blackout poem!
I tried this with the second page of the book I am reading. I didn’t try too hard because I find Google Slides an awkward app to use on my phone (most creative apps are frustrating on this thing, partly because there is not enough screen to play around, and partly because desktop applications seem to have more options).
Anyway, I guess I got a poem out of it. After it was done I realised there was one subject verb disagreement though and I changed that but then I realised I have no idea how to make my poem work: I wanted to write a poem that made ‘tonight’ an anthropomorphized figure but then I realized it is really hard to do that in English and even harder in Spanish! If you say “tonight sneaked around the corner” in English it sounds like you are forgetting the subject pronoun. In Spanish you don’t usually need subject pronouns but that means it is even harder to bring Tonight to life because if you say “esta noche decidió leer el libro” it sounds like perfectly proper Spanish where the subject is assumed to be… well, pretty much anyone else!!! … and no one is ever going to assume that Tonight himself decided to read a book…
Then I trued to clarify that Tonight is a living breathing being by adding words, like “esta noche mismisimo” or “esta noche incarnada” but it still doesn’t work and I cannot find a way to talk about Esta Noche in Spanish without everyone thinking I am talking about someone else! I think Tonight is annoyed at how the world assumes that everyone else in the world is doing the action, but not her, oh no, no one imagines Tonight to be capable of doing anything fitting of a verb. She feels invisible and I think she wants to cry. Taking a break from all her worries sure would help a lot…
So this is what my blackout poem ended up looking like with Google’s translation.
es la ùltima palabra en susurros
y preciosas colecciones de rocas pueden distraerme
para hacer saltar por los aires
o hablar sobre que ocurrió
porque esta noche volvió al pueblo después de haber vivido casi veinte años fuera.
It is the last word in whispers
and precious collections of rocks can distract me
to blow up
or talk about what happened
because [T]onight [she] returned to town after having lived almost twenty years abroad.