A translation into Quenya of a poem by the Finno-Swedish author Bo Carpelan, recently deceased. The original can be found at http://dansmonchapeau.canalblog.com/tag/Finlande
.Yá itila viliénen tuilindo telumenna
hortaxe ar cenit aldaron imbi i laimi melindu
sinta i ré núra undómenna, ear as quie ocamna,
tá cemeno mordor milya hwestasse apatírar
ringie lómeva. Lúme fifírua. Pella i hópa
sí mo itintanie calmarya coasse. Ata vanwa
sennave ná vilima cuilesse aurélion aure.
* 'flying, flight' (verbal noun from vil
- 'to fly')horta-xe
* 'sends itself flying'melindu
* dual 'pair of lovers'quie
noun 'calm (at sea)' (PE 16:143)ocamna
'conjoined, bound together' (VT 44:14)*apa-tir
- 'look forward to, await'*ringie
* 'is slowly dying down'sennave
'volatile, fleeting' (formation from vil
- modelled on calima
'bright' from cal
- 'shine' and tyelima
'final' from tyel
- 'end, cease')
"When in glinting flight a swallow throws itself towards the sky
and among the shadows of trees the lovers see
the day fade into deep evening, the sea being conjoined with silence,
then in the gentle breeze earth's shadows are awaiting
the chill of night. Time is being stilled. Beyond the bay
someone has now lit his lamp in the house. Gone is
soon again a day of many in the fleeting life."
The form of the original is basically the classical hexameter, though with more metrical variations than are usually allowed. In my translation I have adapted the Latin dactylic hexameter (a quantitative meter) to Quenya. Chief modifications:
• A shortened final vowel -- i.e. one reflecting a long vowel in the archaic or prehistoric language -- may constitute a long syllable when immediately followed by a caesura (as the final vowels of itila
in line 1). This is loosely based on what Tolkien tells us of the treatment of similar syllables in accentual verse (The Road Goes Ever On
, commentary on Galadriel's Lament)
• The use of elisions is more restricted than in Latin verse. Unstressed -a
are elided before initial vowels, except for the article i
; otherwise when two vowels come together, the hiatus is retained.
Of course, comments, criticism etc. are most welcome.
EDIT: I have emended Íre
(line 1) to Yá
, for better harmony with tá
in line 4.