Homophonic Translations

Sound translation, also known as homophonic translation, refers to the practice of recombining the phonetic elements of an existing text to form new words and new meanings. This practice of “intra-language” translation, in contrast to that of conventional “inter-language” translation, maintains that meaning can be transmutable and versatile. The sensory experience of language runs parallel and entwines with the original meaning in often unexpected and uncomfortable ways. These translations are just another instance in the life of the poem, spiraling into itself and unraveling.

"Einmal" by Paul Celan (1905)

original and English translation


They’re hurting him

the woosh of the welt

a gazelle, not long



Eyes of unendless

fur knitted


Licked war. Red tongue.

"Einem, der vor der tür stand" by Paul Celan (1905)


Eyed-him, therefore, the twisted...


Eyed-him, therefore, the twisted, heinous 



that is mine, watch out-: some 

killcrops signed and trodden, the help-

shorn, and then, them

called again, stifled these cricknecks, 

godboring brooder, then

meet their blood again,

got it,

get made, then

stillpendant men’s lives.


Rabbit, nighten it, rabbit 



That’s him

besides the word, 


scribes that lend bad digging 

nights in the mute 


sprites die why 

crippled finger some hell, 

bring in them spoons. 

That’s it.


Without the advent to skewer, alibi.


Ride the morgue and turn out, ride- —





"Am Rande der Nacht" by Rilke (1905)



And ‘Round her Night

Mine is two and diesel white

wash of the nighttime land —

its onus. It’s been unsaid,
of the rushing bright

resonating guest’s pen.

The thing is, guy can lie to her
on moor, and then do kill all
three traumas, that’s why in the viper

Three roadsick can slay for their gruel

Cancer gets lighter...
I sold
Still burn her sin turn: then would

Allison termed mere lay been.
Once twice in din fling inert,
Weird knock dim lifted stray ban
That phone miner transcendence donor,

Um, welted their hind hull well,
do smile, small tender pattern
in the altar
Abrogate on it
And felt....