Delicious thoughts Pensamientos deliciosos Pensées délicieuses Pensieri deliziosi Вкусные мысли

Il faut avoir trop de temps libre pour se torturer de la façon suivante ! Los textos de este breve poema en inglés, español, francés, italiano y ruso se encuentran a continuación. The goal was to write a poem in several languages at once, adjusting all the texts so that the poem funzionasse (worked) more or less the same way in each version. For example, I began with plums, but needed a noun that was masculine singular in all languages, and so the foreigner came to instead offer the man кусок фрукта (a piece of fruit). Je promets qu’à l’avenir -por mi salud mental- I will try to restrain myself.

Delicious thoughts

Mae, finally, with color, drawing by William Eaton - 2
The foreigner

Alone also

In her thoughts

Was pleased

To be able to understand for once


When he told her that the piece of fruit she had offered him

Was delicious

A little sour

He was thinking

In the midst of this square


Full of

Delicious thoughts


Pensamientos deliciosos

La extranjera

Sola también

En sus pensamientos

Se alegró

De poder entender por una vez


Cuando le dijo que el pedacito de fruta que ella le había ofrecido

Era delicioso

Un poco agrio

Estaba pensando

En medio de esta plaza


Llena de

Pensamientos deliciosos


Pensées délicieuses


Seule aussi

Dans ses pensées

Était heureuse

De pouvoir comprendre pour une fois


Lorsqu’il disait que le morceau de fruit qu’elle lui avait offert

Était délicieux

Un peu acide

Portrait, male model at Figureworks, January 2019 - 4Il pensait

Au milieu de cette place


Pleine de

Délicieuses pensées


Pensieri deliziosi

La straniera donna

Anch’essa sola

Nei suoi pensieri

Era felice

Essere in grado di capire per una volta


Quando le disse che il pezzo de frutta che lei gli offriva

Era delizioso

Un po’ acido

Lui pensava

In mezzo a questa piazza


Piena di

Pensieri deliziosi


Вкусные мысли


Тоже одна

В своих мыслях

Была рада

Что смогла понять хоть раз


Когда он сказал ей, что что кусок фрукта, который она ему предложила

Был вкусным

Немного кисловатым

Он думал

Посреди этой площади



Вкусных мыслей


— Poem (all versions) & drawings by William Eaton


∩ No surprise this: I’ve been reading William Carlos Williams. But not his most famous poems (the plums and the wheelbarrow). Other things, like The Last Words Of My English Grandmother. There are connections here, too, between these Pensées délicieuses, and my explorations based on Paul Éluard poems.

My own poem(s) began when a Japanese artist, Takako Matsuno, just before she returned to Tokyo, brought to my apartment a box of Yoku Moku cookies, which were truly delicious and quite to my taste (butter-vanilla). I sent Takako a thank-you note, but of course there are plenty of (not really) “polite” people who send such notes—“Thank you so much for the truly delicious cookies”—when they did not particularly like the cookies or have never even tried one (having instead “regifted” the box?).

So here a poem began to begin. Was there any way that I might communicate to another person—who happened to be still learning English—that I indeed really liked the cookies? I appreciated the gift not only for the “thought” but also for the contents. And further, this might be to say something larger: that Takako and I have similar tastes (as it seems that we do).

And may I add that I detest saccharine displays of kindness, politeness, friendliness, etc., and such displays seem more and more pervasive as more and more of the available jobs require a good deal of “emotional labor.” I understand the unpleasantness of being served by waiters who give the impression that—surprise, surprise—they are only providing decent service in the hopes of getting a big tip. And yet neither do I like it when I feel, rightly or wrongly, that the friendliness of a waiter—or of any other person, on the job or not—is simply canned, put on. If you can only pretend to be nice, try—if this is even possible for you—to learn not to pretend at all. And even if this means shutting up and not making any false facial expressions, etc.

From such bittersweet roots grew a poem.

And thanks to CR for help with the Italian!


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