Not an original idea, by any stretch, but a game I’d been playing for a while before I found other people were doing it too. Take a text and run it through a translator a few times before returning to your own language and seeing what is the result. Five years ago, Bob Purse of WFMU did A Visit of Sacred Nicolàs; here’s my version, running the original text through most of the native (or semi-native) languages of the people with whom I am sharing a house (save for Latvian, as it was funnier without). From English, through Dutch, Swedish, Turkish and back again, here’s my own Was the Night Before Christmas. I might just do a poetry reading on my Wednesday night Christmas radio special.
The night before Christmas at home all the time was
Even a non-creature is a mouse.
Stockings from the chimney with care, was suspended
I hope that St. Nicholas soon would be.
Children, their beds confidential Embedded
Visions of sugar plums danced in their heads, while var.
And it is a part of the headscarf mother and I,
For the long winter sleep had settled our brains.
When the grass was such an uproar
To see what happens in bed, I jumped out.
Away flew like a flash in the window, for
Tore open the shutters and threw windows.
Fresh snow and breast Month
After dinner, gave brightness objects.
As my eyes followed
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny Ren.
A little old driver so lively and quick, with
St. Nick must once knew.
It is quicker to reach and wash Cour eagle,
And he whistled and shouted and called them names!
Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now jump and Vixen!
On Comet! Cupid, On! On, Donner and Blitzen on!
On the upper porch! Customers in the wall!
Now, Dash away! Dash away! Dash away all! ”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
When she met with an obstacle mount to the sky.
She flew home on top of the Cour operators,
And Santa Claus sleigh filled with toys.
And then, suddenly, I heard on the roof
Dance and her little hooves and pawing.
I pulled and twisted in my head,
Chimney St. Nicholas came with a lower combined.
I was head to toe wearing fur
And clothes were contaminated with ash and institutions.
A bundle of toys he threw on the back;
And one looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
How your eyes shone! Dimples he is funny!
Their cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His mouth funny developed as a source;
And his chin was as white as snow, like a beard.
A pipe he held tightly in his tooth stump,
And the smoke around his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly dancer
He smiled, shook like a bowlful jelly!
O round and plump, right glad was the old site
And when I looked, but laughed myself!
A wink and a head rotation,
Soon, I learned fear.
I spoke not a word but went straight
And then filled silk stockings.
His nose and fingers,
And he stood up to give a nod to the chimneys!
His sled for the team and made a whistling jump
And flew away during a thistle.
But as I heard him shout: ‘Ere his eye, lasted from
“Merry Christmas and a good night all!