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TRANS: a love poem

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 11, 1999, 22:56
I'd like to show you what came out of my head just a few minutes ago.
It's a love poem for an indiferent woman. It's not personal experience
(not right now, at least :) and I don't know how it popped out like
that. Anyway, translate it if you please, and/or tell me what you
think. This is not my first poem, but it's the first with roughly
consistent metrics (heptasyllabic <sp?> verse, with some concessions
allowed by stress patterns).

Conculturally speaking, this is the postumous work of Rren-F=ECrram Dagon=
a travelling singer and poet who performed a couple of times in the
court of =C9smival, Lady of Ridhdr=E1s, to who this poem (and some others=
is presumed to be dedicated. Nobody knew of them until after Dagon's
death; =C9smival never saw them.


Qas=E1q hlai=FCr tenthalmer
farqreven, tak tak turs
Tak hot futur san inniv
fnoverg navik m=E1talpots
Na h=E0b=FCr toi be manir
fararel=FC`n b=EC nailir,
lif sar na dladh b=EC mevir
Qas=E1q toi m=E9lbotir giad
farqreven, tak imaldnot
drefas i =FCth=E4's san nann.

Interlinear translation:

Tentative title: _Tenthalmer_ 'You lock yourself'

 1. Qas=E1q hlai=FCr    tenthalmer
    why   shell.LOC RFX.lock.2s
   'Why (do) you lock yourself in (your) shell'

        _hlai_ means the shell of a turtle or a snail.

 2. farqreven,  tak tak turs
    NEG.know.1s TAK TAK love.1s
    'I don't know, (and) just because of that
     I love (you)'

        _tak_ is difficult to translate. It can be a preposition or
        (here) an adverb. It means 'just because of that, only for
        that reason', a reason which is enough to produce an effect
        on its own, not mattering anything else.

 3. Tak hot  futur   san inniv
    TAK much rush.3s my  blood
    'Just because of that my blood rushes'

        _hot_ is from the same root as the word for 'wide'. In Drasel=E9q,
        it means '(too) much' (it carries some negative meaning, but not
        _futur_ 'it rushes' means 'it floods, it flows in massive quantities,
        it goes forcefully'.

 4. fnoverg   navik  m=E1talpots
    drone.CMP around surround.MV.1s
    '(and) I make circles near (you) like a drone'

        A drone in this culture is not so much the image of laziness, but of
        foolishness. The word is particularly applied to young men in love
        who do nothing but following the object of their love, or to married
        men who are too dependant on their wives.
        _navik_ means 'around, nearby, in the surroundings'
        _m=E1talpan_ means 'to surround (sthg) (with sthg)'. In middle voice
        it means to make circles, to go around a spot with no purpose.

 5. Na h=E0b=FCr     toi     be manir
    to light.LOC at_once if come_out.2sACT
    'If you came out (in)to the light now'

        _toi_ 'at once' is used to emphasize a single action.
        Note _na h=E0b=FCr_ 'into the light' instead of _na h=E0p_
        'towards the light'.
        The subjunctive is not used in this sentence. The English
        translation is to make sense only.

 6. fararel=FC`n  b=EC    nailir,
    NEG.look.PP would see.2sACT
    'you would see without looking'

        That is, you wouldn't have to make an effort to see it, and you
        would see it even if you tried not to, since it's evident.

 7. lif  sar na dladh b=EC    mevir
    from I   to love  would take.2sACT
    '(and) you would take (the chance to) my love'

        Difficult sentence! This is a fixed phrase, meaning 'you would
        take (it, the chance) towards the love (that comes) from me'.
        _dladh_ is actually love + sex (attraction and/or action, and
        of both types, physical and sexual, at the same time). It's used
        a lot when wishing a good marriage to a girl (having one thing
        but not the other isn't good forever, is it?).

 8. Qas=E1q toi     m=E9lbotir      giad
    why   at_once hide.MV.2sACT you
    'Why (do) you hide at once'

 9. farqreven,  tak imaldnot
    NEG.know.1s TAK fill.MV.3s
    'I don't know, (and) just because of that...'

10. drefas i =FCth=E4's    san nann.
    wish   * heart.GEN my  song.ACC
    '... my heart(-felt) wishing song is renewed'

        The verb in middle voice, _imaldnot_, means 'it is/gets filled,
        it's renewed, it's freshened, it becomes stronger'-
        The last line is very difficult to translate, and purposefully
        ambiguous, since you don't know what refers to what...
        It seems that _i_ is compositive here; the song is *made* of
        wishing/desire. Or maybe the heart is. In any case, the song
        is also 'of the heart', since 'heart' is in genitive case.

--Pablo Flores