Have you ever thought of writing a poem for someone you love but somehow you know deep down that you don’t have even an iota of poetic fiber in your brain and you get stuck unable even to start. Then, you are tempted to search the Internet or just copy something from a book or magazine but you don’t want to be dishonest so you somehow can’t do it. After all, you only have the purest intention for your loved one and you may marry her someday and you don’t want to be found out later.
Anyway, here’s a nifty little trick that can get you started, produce a quality result and make of something you can truly claim as your own.
But first, I want to state here that this trick will work only for non-English native speakers. It will still work for native English speakers but they will need the help of someone who knows how to translate from a non-English language to English.
Okay here we go. Listen to your native language radio stations or buy some CDs of romantic songs in your native language. Then, choose a song in your native language that contains some lyrics that you like. Write down the lyrics of the song in your native language and then, translate the lyrics into English and voila, you have the beginnings of a literary creation that you can give as a token for your loved one.
Polish your translation or have someone good in the English language to improve your translation. Get a clean sheet of paper and write the poem in your own handwriting, then sign the poem. Carefully fold the paper and put it in your wallet, ready to be opened on your next date.
During your date, when an awkward silence occurs, bring up the topic of poems and after some discussions pretend that you have just been reminded that you have written a poem just for her. Carefully retrieve the poem from your wallet and read it. She will be delighted and this would earn you good points.
Now, if she knows the song in the native language and says she is reminded of that song, say you like it also and invite her to listen to it or lend her the CD where the song is included. It will take some investigation on her part and probably a lot of effort to discover your secret. But most of the time, she would be concentrating on the meaning of the poem and get lost in its message.
In my opinion, when the lyrics of a non-English song are translated into English, the original text is somehow lost and a new and different experience emerges.
Okay, it goes something like this. Have you experienced driving on a street you have not passed before and then on coming back to the same street, you sometimes get a feeling that this street seems to be different from the one you passed by earlier. This is the same thing that your girl will experience, something that is the same and yet different, and it will be a wonderful feeling for her. It’s like looking at something from the opposite side.
Is this cheating? Well, I don’t know much about the law on copyright but you are not publishing the poem anyway so I don’t think there is a problem there. You have all the right to claim it as your own work since you are the one who wrote it. The only difference is that you borrowed the idea from someone else. You did buy the CD, did you? So you have already done your part in paying for the efforts of the original authors.