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The Dizzy Fox

From:David Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 31, 2003, 23:58
While celebrating the holidays at my girlfriend's parents' house in Chico, we
came across quite a find.   Her sister, who's now 16, found amongst her
things a book of poems that her third grade class had made.   This led to hours of
entertainment.   It appears that everyone in the class did five different
types of poem, each type being identical in structure.   To give an example, one
such poem was a "My Name" poem, which had ten or more lines in which each line
was "My name is like x".   Apparently they'd been studying North American
birds at the time, for more than a few students said, "My name is like a crow", or
"My name is like a scrubjay", or (my favorite), "My name is like the birds of
North America".

Anyway, but the crowning achievement, the masterwork of the whole book was a
poem called "The Dizzy Fox" written by Jonathan T., who, at least in my heart,
shall remain forever immortal.   It's so wonderful that I prompted to
translate it into a couple of my languages, and I thought it might be a fun
translation exercise.   So, without further ado, here it is: "The Dizzy Fox", by
Jonathan T.

The Dizzy Fox

Imagine a dizzy fox who played
a violin, making a lonesome song--
so lonesome it makes people dizzy.

There it is.   Whenever I'm feeling down, I'm going to remember this poem,
'cause it never fails to bring a smile to my face.   Here are two translations
of it:


vijolinet urudlarven yZM jeldavenyf baJjar,
ven resa Sijeler urut--
rese ras (zijer) yZus.

/violin-Inst. play-past-ii dizzy-non.nom. fox-gen. imagine-imp./
/3rd.ii.pron. lonesome-non.nom. song-acc. play-pres./
/lonesome-Intens. that (people) dizzy-cause-pres./

Above, the ii is to denote noun class ii, that of furry land animals.   The
"non.nom." tag denotes an adjectival case that the adjective is put into when
the noun it modifies is not in the nominative case.   The object of "to
imagine" takes the genitive case, not the accusative.   Also, I've put "people" in
parentheses, because the way to do it true to my language would be to leave it
out (the translation would be "so lonesome it dizzies"), but I don't want to
meddle with a masterpiece.


Ua omomo ia i ieletavene neumeme poke noalale
I fiolini, ke heale'u inoala awape a--
Awape ipe i amo, epe neumemele i ape/iu emi.

/Irrealis imagine pred. fox dizzy that-past-samesub. play/
/pred. violin, past-samesub. hear-cause-pass. song lonesome progressive/
/lonesome such pred., pres.-samesub.-that be-dizzy-caus. pred.
one *or* pred.-plu. person/

Again, I left two options for "people".   Oh, I didn't bother to create a
word for "violin" in either language.   Too confusing.

That's it.   :)   I hope "The Dizzy Fox" has brought your day a little joy.