Today we translated Mario Benedetti’s haiku “La Mariposa.” In Spanish, it goes:
La mariposa/Recordara por siempre/Que fue gusano
The English translations varied, but ran along the lines of:
The butterfly/will always remember/that it was a worm
We spent a long time discussing which word to use: caterpillar or worm. Which one indeed? I voted worm because I like the hard, unbeautiful sound of it. One boy chose caterpillar because, “I think the poet means that kids want to be grown up, but when you are grown up things are really hard, and you want to be a kid again.” He wanted a word that captured nostalgia. So much wrapped up in word choice, no?