|Date:||Thursday, August 12, 1999, 19:59|
OK, I might be making you people tired, but my muse is tickling me
these days and I have to share. So here goes YATE (yet another
translation exercise). It's a short poem, _Gef_ ('Eyes').
Legend has it that _Gef_ was composed by Det-Halnain Qgenten-Haldun,
Little Lord of Trebalm=E9r, to capture the impression that a beautiful,
abandoned blind girl made on him while he was walking in Dhitolam,
the capital of the province, in his old age. Later he said that, had
he been younger, he'd have made her one of his wives. In any case,
the story says that he went on in amazement, then woke up to reality
when he got home, and sent one of his sons in a hurry to look for her,
but she was never found.
Htam qestel p=E4m
Pentik gl=FCrrs mair
m=E8bes on dhehandh
i diniass farg=FCftel,
freth nots=FCr bais i m=E8f!
Free English translation:
A maiden left aside
Eyes like lakes
A bitter teardrop remembers
all the colours of day
Like covered mirrors
eyes that cannot see,
unable to make stars,
never in time a day of sun!
ABL abilitive ('can')
ACT actual present tense
AP active participle
GEN genitive case
GRP group plural
LOC locative case
NEG negative ('not')
PP passive participle
1. Htam qestel p=E4m
sthg_left_aside be.AP maiden
_htam_ [xtam]: something that has been left aside or behind,
that is trashed and abandoned in a bad condition. This
sentence twists the usual word order a bit to give emphasis.
2. Qgelftherg gef
3. Pentik gl=FCrrs mair
remember.3pACT bitter tear
The verb _pentik_ '(it) remembers' includes a certain
volitional connotation, as if the teardrop itself makes
an effort to bring back the memory.
4. m=E8bes on dhehandh
day.GEN all colours.GRP
The use of _on_ and the group plural here suggests an
emphatic meaning, 'each and every colour'.
5. Thultan naimpavnerg
6. farmadnail=FCl gef,
7. i diniass farg=FCftel,
* stars NEG.make.AP
_g=FCften_ 'to make' is used with this structure
(_i_ + noun phrase + verb) with several related meanings,
like 'to create', 'to conceive', and 'to achieve'. This
particular usage is almost totally ambiguous, seeking
emotion more than understanding.
8. freth nots=FCr bais i m=E8f!
no time.LOC sun * day
This sentence is ambiguous too; the determiner _freth_ at
the beginning could go with any of the three nouns that follow.
The usual meaning joins it with the first inflected noun, i. e.
_nots=FCr_ 'in time'. The particle _i_ joins 'sun' and 'day'
in 'day of sun', 'sunny day' in a compositive sense; as if the
day is made of sun or filled with sun all over.