30th November 2022
Writing: Azaan Haigh (Year 8)
Editing: Aayush Mukherjee (Year 13)
When it was announced in class that a competition for translating a poem (the Stephen Spender prize) was taking place, I didn’t hesitate to put my hand up to take part. I really enjoy my language classes and this competition was an opportunity to participate in something I enjoy and possibly win a prize for doing so!
The competition involved selecting a poem, written in a foreign language and translating it into English. I decided that it might be interesting to select a poem in Urdu, as that is my Mum’s mother tongue and I hear her speak in Urdu with my grandparents. My Mum was overjoyed!
Once I had chosen the language, I then needed to select a poem that I enjoyed (which was written in Urdu). The poem I chose is called “Candle And The Moth” (in English). This poem captured my imagination, as it describes how the moth was attracted to the light of the candle, despite the flame being a danger and having the ability to kill the moth.
Once I decided which poem I was going to use, I translated the poem phrase by phrase and polished each sentence until the poem was fully complete. This was a challenging task so I asked for help from my Mum and grandparents.
After checking through the poem one more time, I wrote a description of it and provided the additional information that was required. I also indicated where parts of the poem were harder than others to translate (due to words or phrases sometimes having more than one meaning). Finally, I submitted the poem for the competition and eagerly awaited for the results.
When I finally found out the result, I was overjoyed that I came runner up in the competition and look forward to entering similar competitions in the future!