a very mini roundup: crude emergency bridges, no direct English translation, and elegy

I survived my scary-busy day yesterday. I did not break, just collapsed into bed around 11:00. Here is a very mini roundup as promised and then I’m off to my happy place, the library.

crude emergency bridges  From Kay Ryan’s essay, “Specks” in September’s Poetry magazine:

“While writing a poem the hot wire of thought welds together strange chunks of this and that.

It can’t completely combine the disparate elements and make a new element of them, but it can loosen the edges of mutually disinterested materials enough to bond them so that a serial lumpy going on is achieved, crude emergency bridges made, say, of brush and old doors, just barely strong enough to get the thought across before the furious townspeople show up.” 

no direct English translation  I’m a sucker for those things that go around on Facebook — words or lists of words with no direct English translation. There’s one (which I’ve now sadly forgotten) that means the opposite of schadenfraude (for which there is also no direct English translation, or at least no one word in English that captures it). Here’s a word that I’ve been needing my whole life that finally arrived in my FB news feed this week; I’ll share it in case you’ve been needing it, too:

hiraeth (n.) a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past. (More info here).

Apparently a few other languages have comparable words, such as the Portugese saudade, which is the title of the painting pictured above…

elegy  … and this is how I feel about Linebreak. Linebreak of the weekly e-mail. Linebreak of poems I loved every.single.time. And, O Linebreak, first home of the Mail Order Bride. I’m so sad that Linebreak is no longer going to be publishing new work, but I’m so grateful for the presence it has been in my poetry life for the last few years. Here’s their swan song, which you may have already seen, but I’m sure you’ll agree that these poems warrant re-reading. I’m especially taken with “Elegy” and its amazing syntactical shifts that conjure a wild grief. Thank you, Linebreak and editors Ash Bowen and Johnathon Williams — you had a great run.

Happy Friday, all!

10 thoughts on “a very mini roundup: crude emergency bridges, no direct English translation, and elegy

  1. The other word you are looking for – Mudita, happiess rather than resentment at someone else’s good fortune; sympathetic, vicarious joy 🙂

  2. I’m not sure about an exact opposite for Schadenfreude that’s also not translatable, at least not in German, the closest would be Wohlwollen, I suppose, which means enjoying someone’s wellbeing, wishing someone well. Is that the word you had in mind?
    I love hieraeth! Will probably feel exactly that once I can no longer visit the home I grew up in, and now I have a word for it…
    My Sept. Poetry issue has a smiley face right next to the townspeople sentence 🙂

    • German has so many wonderful words. Kelly pointed out in another comment that the word I was thinking of is: Mudita, happiess rather than resentment at someone else’s good fortune; sympathetic, vicarious joy.

      Must admit to thinking immediately of poetry workshops when I read about the angry townspeople 🙂

  3. The opposite of schadenfreude is mudita in Buddhism and shep naches in Yiddish. I learned this from an interview with Sonja Lyubomirsky.

    Hireath is a lovely, sad concept and very Welsh in tone. I had never heard of the Portuguese saudade…lovely. (I wonder if there is a bit of duende in saudade). For a few more of these home-themed words, neologisms that modern philosophers have com up with, see my post:

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