Day 16: Cats Outside

The prompt for day 16 was to “write a “translation” of a poem in a language you don’t actually know.” The idea was to “use the sound and shape of the words and lines to guide you, without worrying too much about whether your translation makes sense.” Suffice to say, mine makes no sense whatsoever, and the only reason I convinced myself to post was my determination to complete every prompt given on the NaPoWriMo website. That aside, the actual translation of the poem I chose is very nice and definitely warrants a read.

Kataa-Ououta                  by: Vito Apüshana

Mioushii wayaa ma’akaa saain wunuu, sulu’upuna
Nouchikii na wapuulerua janakanat.
Kepiashii, wayaa ma‘akaa saain aleket sakaa
Einuushii sutuma wei.Emejirashii wayaa sotpa wuñaasü

Chashii wayaa a’lapuujain nakaa kashii numaa ka’i
Suma’inru seyu wayuu

Outushii wayaa ma’akaa katuule wouu.

My “translation”:

Cats Outside

Misery awaits, makes Sanity wallow selfishly.
Neither cherished nor wanted, his
kept ways make the insane alert,
ensuing sudden wisdom.

Emerging ways suddenly appear

chasing ways along Kashi, namless kids
suffering in silent ways.

Outside ways make kittens wonder.

Note:
The original poem is in Wayuu, a language Wayuu people  in northwestern Venezuela and northeastern Colombia on the Guajira Peninsula.Kashi is the name of quite a few cities and villages around the world, but the one that I am referring to (it at all, really), is what is now the city of Varanasi, India.

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About Suchita

I'm a Writing, Literature, and Publishing student at Emerson College. I love to read and write, especially poetry, and also have a love for music, food, and travel. View all posts by Suchita

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