ICAN Travel: Poetry Adventure

Let’s take a trip around the world for National Poetry Month with our new Youth Roving Reporter Naomi Margolis. We will have poems from around the world, in their native languages, followed by their English translation.

A Plane over a globe, with poetry written in the background

First stop, let’s head to China.

Ode to the Goose

鹅,鹅,鹅, 曲项向天歌。

Goose, goose, goose, singing with their necks bent to the sky.
White feathers float on the green water, and red feet paddle the clear waves.

Chinese Flag on the shape of China

Now let’s continue our journey and fly to South Korea

꿀벌 우체부

무슨 좋은 소식


꿀차 대접 받고
나오는 걸까?

해바라기네 꽃잎마루에서도
한참 앉아 있다가 나오네

Honeybee Mailman

What good news
Did the honeybee deliver:

At the daisy
And the morning glory,

That he would be treated with honey tea?

Also from the petal floor of the sunflower,
He comes out after a prolonged stay.

South Korean Flag on the shape of South Korea

It’s time to head to Europe, starting in Germany.

Himpelchen and Pimpelchen

Himpelchen und Pimpelchen, stiegen auf einen Berg. 
Himpelchen war ein Heinzelmann, 
und Pimpelchen war ein Zwerg. 

Sie blieben lange da oben sitzen und wackelten mit den Zipfelmützen. 
Doch nach fünfundsiebzig Wochen sind sie in den Berg gekrochen, 
schlafen da in guter Ruh, seid mal still und hört ihnen zu! (Schnarch, schnarch…)

Himpelchen and Pimpelchen climbed a mountain. 
Himpelchen was a little elf, 
and Pimpelchen was a dwarf. 

They sat up there for a long time and wiggled their pointed hats. 
But after seventy-five weeks they crawled into the mountain, 
are sleeping there in peace, be quiet and listen to them! (Snore, snore…)

German Flag on the shape of Germany

Let’s make one more stop, and head to Italy:

It’s Spring

Quando l’erba profuma di viole, 
quando senti più tiepido il sole, 
apri il cuore alla gioia più vera: 
è arrivata per te primavera!

When the grass smells of violets,
when you feel the sun warmer,
open your heart to the truest joy:
Spring has arrived for yo

Italian Flag on the shape of Italy

Thank you for traveling with us for some poetry from around the world. What poems from around the world are important to you? Let’s us know in the contact page.

About Naomi

Youth Roving Reporter, Naomi Margolis

Naomi Margolis is a cellist currently studying with Diane Chaplin. She has participated with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony since 2019 and performs in their Symphony Orchestra and the MYSfits String Ensemble. Naomi also participated in the Youth Orchestra of the Los Angeles National Festival in July 2022 under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel. She previously participated in masterclasses with Norman Fischer and has performed alongside professional musicians and ensembles, such as the Oregon Symphony and members of A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra.

Naomi is the founder and president of Lincoln Chamber Orchestra, her high school’s student-led performing group. Outside of music, Naomi is involved with language study initiatives and is currently serving as an exchange alumni ambassador for the US Department of State. She enjoys learning languages like Mandarin, Spanish, German, and Hindi.