So, I’ve told you I’m a Literature student, right? Well, my programme incorporates creative elements, the idea being that in understanding different types of literature, it can sometimes be easier to “learn by doing”.
Now, I’m not saying this idea is without merit. As a matter of fact, the creative aspect of this particular programme was exaclty what made me move a long-ass way from everything and everybody I know, and go study Literature in Umeå, even though I love living in Stockholm, and we have a perfectly good University of our own.
So, I’m not saying I don’t want to learn by doing. But, oh sweet Muses, isn’t there a less painful way I could learn about sonnets?
I don’t know about the Muses, but my teacher didn’t appear to think so. In fact, he appeared to think that learning about sonnets by writing them wasn’t only a good way to learn, but a fun way to learn. Not having written a single line of poetry since I was a black-clad, black-eyeliner-and-lipstick wearing, doom-and-gloom-worshipping, angsty teenager, my inward reaction to this assignment was, let’s say, less than enthusiastic.
But you know what? It actually was kind of fun, and while the sonnet I crafted wasn’t what I’d call Great Art, nor was it completely hideous. So I decided to share it with you, in the same spirit my teacher had me write it: Because it’s fun.
And because I’m weird, I decided it would also be fun to see if I could translate it and have the translation not suck, and I think I did pretty well. You can find the English version here, and the Swedish one here. And, hey, if you happen to be able to read in both Swedish and English, it might also be fun to see if you can guess which one is the original sonnet, and which is the one I translated.
Or not. We can’t all be easily amused, but I’m pretty sure life is a lot more fun for those of us who are.