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.
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.
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.