lojban poetry, anyone?

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Bob LeChevalier

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Mar 20, 1991, 1:43:00 AM3/20/91
to lojba...@digitalkingdom.org
Michael Helsem sent me a translation of the first stanza of the
Esperanto Hymn into Lojban. The original (1), and Michael's English
translation (2) are given first. Then comes his Lojban translation (3),
into a limerick!? He made only minor errors, none of them grammatical
(e.g. the place structure of fasnu has changed, making it non-useful for
his purposes. So my correction of his translation (4) is immediately after
with an English translation of it (5).

But I wasn't happy with this. Not only would some Esperantists take
offense at having their song of great traditional importance turned into
a limerick (which in English culture is almost universally used for
non-serious verse), it was not a very exact translation of the
Esperanto. At Nick Nicholas's instigation, I've lately been translating
a bit of poetry, so it was only natural that I tried to do this one. I
was surprised to find that my result was rhythmic (though not the exact
same rhythm as the original), and it was fairly easy to make it rhyme a
little bit too. My new translation is given as (6), and I've added
pronunciation and translation (7).

But I didn't stop there. I've been carry the seeds of an idea for an
ode to Lojban, and this exercise got my writing urge going. Within an
hour, I had written my first original Lojban poem, which can be seen to
be both rhythmic and, with poetic license, rhyming. This is given as
(8) with pronunciation and translation in (9).

This is the first poem I've written since 6th grade, some 25 years ago.
I'm actually quite pleased with it, and with the fact that it was so easy.
Maybe I'll even write more (and inflict it on the world). But one thing
is for sure: if >I< can write Lojban poetry, anyone can.


(1) La Espero

En la mondon venis nova sento,
Tra la mondo iras forta voko
per flugiloj de facila vento
nun de loko flugu gxi al loko

(2)

Into the world came (a) new feeling,
through the world goes (a) strong call;
by (the) wings of (a) gentle wind,
now fly it from place to place.

(3)

(lo cnino menjvinu goi ko'a
pu fasnu le terdi ku .o'a
.i ta'i lo brife
ku leko nunjimpe
ca selbei fi rolei selvo'a)

(4)

le cnino menjvinu goi ko'a
pu selfri le terdi ku .o'a
.i ta'i lo brife
ku leko nunjimpe
ca selbei fi role selvo'a

(5)

le cnino menjvinu goi ko'a
leh,SHNEE,noh mehn,ZHVEE,noo goi,KOH,hah

pu selfri le terdi ku .o'a
poo,SEHL,free leh,TEHR,dee ku. OH,hah

.i ta'i lo brife
.ee,TAH,hee loh,BREE,feh

ku le ko nunjimpe
koo,LEH,koh noon,ZHEEM,peh

ca selbei fi ro le selvo'a
shah,SEHL,bei fee,ROH,leh sehl,VOH,hah

A (specific) new mind-view (ko'a)
is-experienced-by the Earth (Pride!)
Having-form a breeze
Your (imperative! - Make it true!) thing_understood
now is-sent to all-the-voiced_ones.

(Michael's intended translation:)
ee roo,ROH,deh dah,HAH,da

The new thing-emotionally-felt is-experienced-by of-the-mass-of-the-Earth
i pe ri'a lenu seljimte loi malgerna

(9)

doi bangu co satci joi ji'a na'e satci
doi,BAHN,goo shoh,SAH,chee zhoi,ZHEE,hah nah-heh,SAH,chee

do'u dunda le ko selkai co sidbo velcusku
doh-hoo,DOON,dah leh-koh,SEHL,kai shoh,SEED,boh vehl,SHOO,skoo

loi terdi selvo'a noi nitcu lo nintadji
loi,TEHR,dee sehl,VOH,hah noi,NEE,choo loh-neen,TAH,jee

be lo nu menbenji fo loi prenu co simxu
beh,LOH,noo mehn,BEHN,zhee foh-loi,PREH,noo shoh,SEEM,khoo

O, language of-type exact mixed-with-in-addition non-exact
, (something) gives your (imperative - make it true!) characteristic
of-type idea expression-mode
to of-the-mass-of-the-Earthly voiced-ones, who incidentally need the new-method
of events-of mind-sending to of-the-mass-of-persons of-type mutual.

O, language, both exact and non-exact,
Let your characteristic mode of idea-expression
be given to the voiced ones of the earth, who need this
new method of mutually communicating between minds.

.i doi selmenli co cfipu be le so'imei poi djica
.ee-doi-sehl,MEHN,lee shoh,SHFEE,poo beh-leh,SOH-HI,mei poi,JEE,shah

le ka jimpe do'u bevri ko le cfari lei zgatirna
leh-kah,ZHEEM,peh doh-hoo,BEH,vree koh-leh,SHFAH,ree lei-zgah,TEER,nah

.i .e'o ko cu klina selcusku gi'e jicla
.ee .EH,hoh koh-shoo,KLEE,nah sehl,SHOO,skoo gee-heh,ZHEESH,lah

le no'e farvi pe ri'a le nu seljimte loi malgerna
leh-noh-heh,FAHR,vee peh,REE,hah-leh noo-sehl,ZHEEM,teh loi-mahl,GEHR,nah

O thought-about-things of-type confusing to-the-many-some who desire
understanding-ness, (something) carries you (imperative! - make it true!)
from-the initiators to-of-the-observing-hearers (listeners)
(Petition!) You (imperative!) be clearly-expressed-things, and stir
the neutral-non-developing (stagnant) which-are-caused-by the-event-of being
limited-by of-Derogative-Grammar.

O ideas which confuse the many who desire understanding,
Let yourself be carried from those who initiate you to those who listen.
Please be clearly expressed, stirring
the stagnation caused by the limits of Grammar.

-lojbab

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