Wednesday, 20 January 2010

sleeping dreams

so you sleep so peacefully
uncaring that I watch you
those eye lids moving along
with your tremulous dreams
your nose flaring a bit
the rise and fall of your chest
I subtly put my ears to it
picking up your heart beat
I sway to the rhythm of it
I steady myself and
my palms slide over you
your skin seeps ecstasy
into mine. closing my eyes
I join you in your dreams
adding some of my own..


I wrote that after reading the following. I don't know if it is transliteration or transcreation.

Variation On The Word Sleep

Margaret Atwood

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and as you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.


  1. Transcreation indeed! are such a hoot triptoes!
    Incidentally really lovely poem.Adding dreams of your own
    is a nice touch.

  2. I enjoyed your piece as a freestanding poem so I passed on the Margaret Attwood!

  3. wOW, DOUBLE WOW..I love both, !

  4. Hi Gautami,

    I remember reading this last year. Still lovely - and nice to see the inspiration.

  5. So lovely, very well done as usual...

  6. very nice.
    I like that idea of transcreation

  7. I think your poem is watching her poem. Derived from it.

    Maybe enter the Atwood poem into Google, translate it into a foreign language, then write your poem based on that translation?

  8. Sorry, I meant to give my name with that last post above. The "Anonymous" posting is from me, Therese Broderick.

  9. I like your version so much better. It's sensual. Of course, I do have an aversion to Atwood, but still, I like your version. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  10. It works for me! The nice touches in your poem make it so very readable!

  11. I see this as kind of a shorter restatement of Atwood's poem. You focus more on the scene, while she depicts the inner life of the speaker as she watches the subject sleep. I think it works. Nicely done.


  12. An occasional exercise in imitation or adaptationis a way of finding your own voice. I find it significant that Atwood's subjunctive becomes Gautami's indicative.

  13. I like your version better -- it gets right to the point!

  14. Both poems are nice, but I like yours the best.

  15. like how you connect in his dreams! Wonderful.

  16. Very nice! I quite like both, and I like that you included the Atwood -- I am a fan of her poetry, and I think that the two poems here are complimentary.

  17. I've enjoyed some of Atwood's novels in the past, but have read very little of her poetry.

    I must say I really prefer your poem to hers. I especially like the last line about adding the dreams.

    Thanks for visiting my link from FreeVerse this week!

  18. can’t get no sleep

    so you sleep so snorefully
    uncaring that I hear you
    those nostrils moving along
    with your tremulous lips
    your nose flaring a whole lot
    the heave and ho of your chest
    I subtly grab you round your throat
    picking up your heart beat
    I sway to the rhythm of it
    Then steady myself and
    push down hard as I can
    your neck is too thick
    does no good. closing my eyes
    I join your snore-chorus
    drowning you out with my own..

  19. Sir Silley, you are so insulting. I never invited you to visit my blog. Why can't you stay away?

    Next time you visit me, I will squash you like a fly!

  20. Vividly done -- I like your use of detail.

  21. Nathan: Why thank you, kind Sir. Long hours have I spent studying the minutia of how snores are produced and manufactured in the domestic setting and it is no doubt for this reason that you so discerningly note my flare for details such as nostrils etc.

  22. I thought your poem was wonderful ... and I can see the inspiration in the Atwood poem but you did a wonderful job carving out your own piece of beauty.

  23. Sir Silley, Nathan's comment was for my poem. Not yours. Infact yours is downright offensive!

  24. I say you are wrong and that Nathan is a Gentleman of Taste and Discernment who recognizes the Genius of my nostrl-based writing above on this thread.

    Since we hear nothing from Nathan, it is quite apparent that he agrees with this assessment.

  25. There is always something that moves me when one poet finds inspiration from another and creates a derivation. This is one of my favorites from Margaret Atwood... I loved the visualization in yours.

    And the Silley "snoring poem" was artful and funny!


  26. I, too am amongst those who liked your beautiful poem better than Margaret Atwood's poem.

    And thank you for stopping by at my blog and for your comment.