which I should be for you.

I celebrate myself and,
I am assuming that you are you expect,
each atomille, which belongs to me if a good is for you.

In my heart, and,
by inviting Loafe loafen helppoudessani. . . . Summer viewing spear grass.

/ / /

I celebrate myself and,
I expected that you are you are you waiting for,
each atomille, which belongs to me if my good for you.

Through and through, and,
by inviting Loafen vetelehtinyt helppoudessani. . . . Summer keihäsruohon Watch

/ / /

I celebrate myself and,
I would have expected that you are you are you pending,
each atomille hyväni, which belongs to me if you.

And, as profoundly
Vetelehtineelle vetelehtinytille helppoudessani. . . . Summer keihäsruohon investigation

/ / /

I celebrate myself and,
I I I I would have expected that you are you are you,
each atomille hyväni which I should be for you.

And deeply
Vetelehtineellenä vetelehtinytillenä helppoudessani. . . . Summer keihäsruohon Research

9 April 2012
Brooklyn NY


It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April. To make this poem, I entered the first two stanzas of the 1855 edition of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” into freetranslation.com and translated them into Finnish, then back into English, then back into Finnish, until there were six iterations of each language. Then I used the first, second, third and sixth translations to create this version. This is based on one of Charles Bernstein’s suggested experiments. Here’s Whitman’s original text:

I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease . . . . observing a spear of summer grass.