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haikus n' stuff


Just FYI, here's my loose translation, on what I tried to say in the other two haikus:

Krazaaj osti
m'oltoon sadevesha
os k'athhethkari.

Mountains bite
with fog-soaked hills
tightly on the path

Qana nakhoki
e she tozarasoon.
Jesh fish flas hethke.

The last stork
Set off from the lake.
Cold ice is a tight film.

I'll be happy to discuss, what problems these might have, if anyone is interested. Of course, as always, I'll be also happy to discuss what problems (or strenghts, for that matter, though problems are easier to pick out) other's haikus might have, if they are interested (and don't feel like going to David for definite answers). ...or creation process or philosophy of haikus or making a Rengay after all (perhaps starting off with some already published attempt) - I'm not too picky about topics.

Hey, remeber when I made an unofficial latin alphabet based ortography/script on Dothraki (exhibit A)? It's a bit silly and ad hoc, but serves well as digraphless script more informative of word complexity than the official English- and ASCII-friendly ortography. And since I initially made it in old-timey looking fraktur, it can have a bit of a cool factor, and has even seen use in Ingsve's Christmas card.

Well, some time ago as I was trying to figure out, how to write sonnets in Dothraki, I started to seriously think, it would be fun to test, how Dothraki would look and feel in a syllabe based writing system. Since then, I have fiddled now and then with this loosely latin based srcipt, which is quite far-out, but also fun. In the form it is now, it looks more sci-fi than fantasy, so there's some surprise resonance with David's Defiance project, for which he has made a proper abugida (or several of them?). Haikus having syllabe count, I could not skip an opportunity to test this on a couple of them. So here's my Krazaaj osti... in my basic script (Exhibit B) and Meghan's Qahlan karlina... in slightly stylized version (exhibit C).

Here are this year's entrys of mine, in long analysis. As if if someone had the stamina to ever read through this o_O

Mra qevir noreth
fenoe hatifaan;
azho qosari.

In a forest hairs
stick to face;
gift from spiders.

I was starting with hair (since it was the seed idea) and still wanted to begin with a Dothraki haiku in picture-of-a-moment style witty nature/surroundings observations. I scanned through a few hair-associative nature phenomenons and was stuck with an all-too-familiar experience of walking in a forest full of thin, whispy spider silk stands (and an occasional full web too, of course). There's a definite ghost-hair quality to that stuff. I wanted noreth thash or perhaps noreth lei, but wanted too many things and decided to manage without. A cowardly decision. Haiku isn't really a form that works through compromises; if you want good haiku, fight on and start over until you get everything to click.

Still, what works IMO is the way zero-copula makes the text roll. It starts with In a forest [there are] hairs and then the hair jumps to the role of a subject for Hair sticks to face. And the last line connects loosely so that it leans towards The gift  is spiders', but allows also a hint of Hatifaan azho qosari - To the face the spiders' gift.

Fenolat is a word I made up. We know almost nothing about fenat, but I thought it's likely more or less similar to kemat, so perhaps fenolat could be similar to kemolat. For an object case, it was an easy decision to make hatif allative, since if it does not otherwise work with fenolat, it might at least work as irresultative, and that would be all well and good. For all the unknowns, writing in Dothraki (let alone in Valyrian) is always a bit of a crap shot. You write stuff that should hit close to the intented connotations.

Dōre dȳnes
valī ipradis.

No animal
eats men.

In the simplest sense this is an elaboration on the preceding haiku: no animal has a diet of humans - least of all grown men. A man walking through spider webs is a nice illustration of this notion. He stand tall on the top of the Nature. But this is a limited truth - set in Martin's world this is almost a joke, or perhaps reminiscent of a kōan. Dragons are not mentioned but are already loudly present in their absence.

I commented on DJP's blog that I was initially going for gender neutral human being and considered ābra. Obviously I was eventually quite happy with the connotations valī gave me. "Human" words are tricky. Ābrar seems to already denote to life in wider sense than just humans, and that would have turned my lines' meaning completely. Issaros might work, but does it really make a difference between person-beings and beings in general?

Vocab is small, syllables heavy and words long. In Dothraki I try to write clever or evocative (or whatever), but in Valyrian I mostly just try to get something said within the constraints.

Mas athasari
tolorro mahrazhoa
finis adakh me.

Desert’s treasures
are bones of men
whom it ate.

Well, even if animals don't eat humans - much - nature has other ways.

I think this is, if not terribly special, rather neat little work. Pronouns should find their referents, and syntax should flow. You could read it wrong, perhaps, but I don't think you would.

oktia zaltom

city with burned

Time to bring in the dragon. From dry desert bones to burned city bones. That's a nice contrast, I guess. Men are still eaten, though now that's only implied.

There's a lot of trying in this haiku. I wanted to hit closer to incomplete sentence than to just noun-phrasey slogan. The wibe should be close to Dragon's city is [built/lined/marked/filled] with burned bones, and hopefully a clue to this lingers in accusative case of city, even though accusative has it's exclamative use and might not be completely out of place anyway.

Zhavorsa nem addrivish;
vaes vil avirsae.

Dragons have been killed;
cities will manage to burn.

Time to kill the dragons. This is a rather straight response, maybe even a burn ;)

This might well be the best of mine this year, and alas it's not haiku. I'm not entirely sure, if vaes vil avirsae works the way I intend it to, and since the Dothraki verbal auxiliaries are somewhat alien, it's hard to get a good sense how exactly a native would read it even if it works and the meaning is precisely what I intented it to be ... if you get what I mean.

Bantio gō
vēzos jēdri

Before night
the sky the sun
will redden.

From burning cities to the red of the evening sky; Valyrian finishes in style. No blatant continuation from the two-liner above, rather a fair associative connection. Maybe it stand out a bit too much, but the intention was that this kind of linking would be more a norm than an exception. At least there's still an omnious tang to the haiku, I think.

Melemagon is a word I made up (probably my first Valyrian derivation), but it seemed straigthforward creation enough that it might work.

Zhey Qvaak, no post of yours is ever a waste! :) Kirimvose!

She sindarinekh!
Ajjalan ohazhoe
Aqqisi arakh

Upon the left side!
Tonight grows heavy
Keep near the sword


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