30-Day Poetry Challenge: Day 11

Day 11: Translate a poem. It could be from one language, voice or time period to another, or in some other way. No rules!

Here is the real first stanza of John Donne’s “The Flea:”

This probably isn't the flea Donne was waxing poetic about ... (photo by rollingstone.com)

This probably isn’t the flea Donne was waxing poetic about … (photo by rollingstone.com)


Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck’d me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pamper’d swells with one blood made of two ;
And this, alas ! is more than we would do.

And here’s John Donne’s “The Flea” written in laymen’s terms:

Consider this flea
As little as what you won’t give to me;
he bit me first, and now he bites you,
and our blood is united within it
But you have to know that meshing isn’t 
wicked, disgraceful or unchaste;
it’s just pleasure before we get serious,
inflamed satisfaction almost as if we did the deed;
but, I know, we “wouldn’t”

NMM

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About nikkimmascali

I am an editor, writer and New Yorker who has ink for blood and the blog name + tattoo to prove it. Also of note: I follow more dogs than people on Instagram. This is my blog about reading, writing and absolutely no 'rithmetic because I am horrendous at math.
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