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Poetry Introduction


…”you have to understand
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land”…
(Poem – Extract from Home)

said the sorrowful British-Somalian author Warsan Shire, speaking about the tragedy of migration. Unfortunately, this phenomenon travels through time, space and people, with the same power and cruelty. And our souls tremble the same way. And we try to express our sadness somehow. But beside the downhearted beauty of the poems, there are some meanings that we want to find out.

The project required us to find or to write a poem in our language, about migration, then translates it in English. Some of us recorded audio/video both in original language and English.

In every culture concepts exist, which at first glimpse are identical. In fact, a lot of linguistic works demonstrate that, in general, the real meaning of a concept differs, even when the forms of the word are the same. For example, “death” is a hard situation for all of us, but in some cultures “death” is associated also with a sort of humour. The conclusion is that: even if we know exceptional English, every word inside carries a special perspective, which transfers us in a different state of mind. And all that, after we have resolved the problems with the rhyme, rhythm and measure, is not very easy at all to translate!

The second thing is the atmosphere of the poem. We could compare a poem with a being, we find that every poem has a body and a spirit. The body, we just talk about and we discover that it is not a simple issue. The spirit of a poem seems to be more complicated, because it’s about the human spirit, about differences between cultures and individuals. Just a short image to reveal the tremendous gap between us – some cultures don’t have some concepts, like two worlds in just one country: village world and city world. We have to choose every word and sentence carefully, otherwise the meaning will be lost.

Despite all the barriers, we completed the project, even if we encountered some difficulties. Maybe we missed some ideas, maybe the rhymes are less accurate and maybe someone will not understand some abstraction.

The most important thing is our mission to raise awareness of the fact that the migration is a dramatic phenomenon, beyond the context of cultures, education, continents and politics. This project is here in front of us and the mission was possible because, in such circumstances, our mind thinks the same and our eyes cry the same tears.