Monday, December 21, 2009

Galadriel's Poem

Epistle CXXV: Translations of the Void of Language

My Dearest Princess

My Sister Siêthiyal has been searching through the attick in the crannog of the Sweqhàngqu and came across a rather old book whose writing she could not quite understand. She sent it o'er unto me to keep with the Scholars who are helping me to fight at the edge of the Void of Language. I have written before that I have heard some very interesting sounds and utterances that sound a little like unto language, although they do not at all seem like language as thou and I know it, like unto Babel or the various languages of the wild beasts. You wrote before about taking the sounds of Gibberish and making them into words or names of Babel. When the scholars took this old tome unto the Void they found that it was collecting a series of poems writ in some nonsense that none of us could understand. I’ve sent the book back to Siêthiyal, and she has painted in the margins and colored in the drawings, and she says that these poems may actually be of some linguistick interest to you. So I am sending this book unto you, complete with her comments. I just hope, oh my Princess, that this may be of some use unto you, whether or not these are words in language at all.
I regret that the business of the battles here prevents me from writing more unto thee. Stay well, and I hope you have a good time with my Sisters and Mother and Grandmothers.



Siêthiyal’s Notebook.

Not at all sure what these hieroglyphs are supposed to mean. Puey would you be so good as to froward this book to Éfhelìnye? It will give her something to read on the journey back unto the greenlands of Jaràqtu.

Éfhelìnye I’m sure by now you’ve already flipped through these pages and become as confused as I am. What we seem to have is something quite remarkable, for it is almost as if language itself is dreaming, but peering through the dreams I believe we can have hints of meaning. Princess, I know that you have created language, or at least language as we of the Dreamtime can know it, be we Mortal or Spirit or divine Ása. However, perhaps it is possible that language can exist in some other fashion. Perhaps these dreams of poems come from previous iterations of the universes of the Dreamtime, and these are just earlier versions of the Language of Story.
In the meantime, oh my Princess, I have been quite busy in Jaràqtu. I’m planning on buy some triplet slave girls for my Brother. I figure that as the divine Crown Prince and future Father of the Peoples, he will need many servants, especially young and comely ones with beautiful golden hair. Just because it is inevitable that he will be far more interested in those three and spend more time with you, please don’t think that in any way that means he thinks less of you and the rather dubious pasttide of glossopoeia. But then again, I’m sure that these beautiful odalisques may even inspire some of the modes of your grammar. For instance, when you write again about the Ensuring Construction, perhaps in conjunction with the Passive Voice, you may have to explain sentences such as the following:

Khwèxhna’ ur qoe jhpàrfhot Éfhelìnye.
Khwèxhna jhpàrfhot Éfhelinyeyètwur.
Éfhelinyeyètwur khwèxhna jhpàrfhot.
Éfhelìnye flays the skin off of the love slave.

See, my Princess, it seems that Babel does not have an actual word for flay or husk but one just uses the word khwèkhna in the Ensuring Construction for to produce that; Khwèxhna’ ur qoe X Y would mean Y flays the skin off of X, Y husks X. And of course you already know the word jhpàrfho, jhpàrfhot which means slave girls, love slaves, cumal wielen, odalisques.

So, my Princess, I have taken this very long fhliryoâtha nonsense song and broken it apart into smaller stanzas. Here is the first one that I have been able to find. I am not entirely sure that the nonsense utterances are even language at all, but I have reproduced them as best I could find them:


Namaariex Altariel’o Nainie Lórienn’esse.

Ai! Raurie rantaaru raxh’i suurinen
Iéni-’ únóteime m’e raamaru’ arun’aron!
Iéni m’e rinte yurun’aaru’ am’ánieru
Mi’ oromarun’ei rise-mirum’órem’a-‘
Ann’eyúne pera M’arun’o terumaaru
Nu ruini yasen teinteiraaru’ i-’ ereni-‘
Ómario’ airetaari-riirinen.
Farewell. Altariel’o’s Lament in Lórien

Ah! Like unto gold pfall the leaves in the wind
Lóng years numberless as the wingfins of drutrees!
The lóng years have passed like unto swift draughts
Of the sweet mead in lofty meodohealls
Beyond the West beneath the blue vaults of M’arun’a
Wherein the stars tremble
In the voice of hir psong, holy and queenwise.
Xh’í man i yuruma nin enqwuwantoum’a?
Who nunow shall refill the cup for mee?
An xh’ii Teintaare M’arun’a-‘ Oioroseo
M’e p’uanyaaru maruato’ Erentaari-‘ orutaane’
Are’ irie’ teiea-‘ unn’ouraam’e rumfh’uure’
Ara xh’inn’anóriero kaita morunie’
i p’uarumari-khn’-aru’ imufh’e meto’
Aru kh’ixh’ie’ untoupa Karakirio miiri-‘ oiare
Xh’í m’anwa ná’ Romero m’anwa M’arimaaru!
Namaarie! Nae kh’irum’arie M’arimaaru
Nae erie kh’irum’a! Namaarie!
For nunow the Kindler, M’arun’a, the Queen of the Stars
From Mount Everwhite hath uplifted hir hands like wolcen clouds and all paths are drowned deep in shadow,
And out of a white-silver-grey country darkleness lies
On the foaming waves between us
And mist covren the jewels of Karakiria for ever.
Nunow lost, lost to tho of the East is M’arimaaru!
Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find M’arimaaru!
Maybe even thou shalt find hit! Farewell!

Oh Princess, my Sister by marriage, I have studied the Gibberish above and after some doodling and dreaming I believe the translation should be something like unto this. I am not entirely sure that this makes perfect sense, but it is surely the best that I can do.

Qáyoakhétyai! Ojuxujoxíju Qalatrielejikhh Khlorienaloi.
Hail! The lamentations of Qalatriel in Khlórien.
Xhmuptayethyayùkhwu fhiêl xhlir khmìmen khlàxhena sae xhnoe pfhùpa járs xhroe’ úlaxhei xhroa’ afhilùsqrun tìjhwa!

Xhthènte afhilùsqrun qir pfhùpa jhpèkhei xhroe yelfhin
Theumàrlatser qir xhyeparlòqnil khmathayulkhayòntrin
Jatàyofhiet qemesufharùlrukh Fhártayejikh
Koaqoas koaqoas Xoxhetesàkhyan ker Khnèkhtang
Koaqing khàmli koaqing khángpa sqaqhìrjos khlùnya.
Alas! Like whimsical rainbow gold the leaves off of trees chance to fall in the breath, and like unto the wingfins of trees are the myriad great years!

The great years wended like those who swiftly drink draughts
In the high meodohealls of sweet honey drops.
Beyond the westron countries, beneath the blue vaults of Fate, Fhárta, wherever the Skydancing Stars dance
In her voice, in her song, holy and queenwise.
Lyáratser xhmaiyelóngeyungpuyòxhning
Xuxuwepeyulkhayipoayoîpil púxhmi xhyus?
Who shall again and regularly fill
The tea cup here and now for me?
Xhnoet qìr poâ’ oswókhes qthekhternòjhwa’ urpayèthya
Qíriniileyaningàxhwa’ Akhíkhràyejikh
Qyeqyeuntayeîlwai Fhártayeîlwai Fhártayeilwai’ Oiyoláxheyepwo
For now the Queen of Stars
Sets out to lift her hands like wolcen clouds,
The Kindler, Fate, Fhárta from Oiyoláxhe,
Xhnoe tlheûngpa khyi khornaqyayiyòjhwa jhpaôrl ser
Xhnoe plèjerng tná pwingefhìmatser xhrúmum sae
Xhmú talapàlujhar kepoqi.
Xhnoe lrulrutoâkhwen jhatisùlkha Kalakiryayulkha jhàkhneutha.
Khmixhíyo khmixhíyo qìr poâ Piêr lwaqyìnaloi Fhalimaraqwa!
Qáyoakhétyai! Ás fhàseqhe Fhalimar túxhli!
Pajefhàseqhe khrúje yapoi teiranesa! Qáyoakhétyai!
And shadows chance very much to smush all paths,
And some darkleness haps to exist within a grey country upon the seafoam water in the presence of them and me,
And some mist eternally covers the jewels
Of Kalakirya.
Fhalimar it is that is now quite lost unto the Khniîkhans of the East!
Hail! May it be that thou may chance to find Fhalimar!
May thou in fact be fated to find it on purpose! Hail!

In the above xìrathakh translation I can at least list the words that are used: There are àfhil years and Akhíkhra, Akhaîrakhu Stars, the Skydancers and fháse, fhàseqhe those who find someone or something, asi and fhiêl, fhiêlemet those who pfall down and járs, jàrsa wingfins and jàta westron countries, places and jhakhneûtha mist, cloud and jhàtis jewels and jhpaôrl shadows and jhpèkhei those who drink someone or something and khàmli voices and khángpa psongs and khlàxhena leaves off of trees, pak, ho-wa-uxha and khlùnya Moons, Martians, those who are queenwise, princesswise, Empresswise, lunar, martian, pertaining to Qwás, to the Moons and khmàtha, khmàmatha honey, drops of honey and khmìmen, khmìmengu breath, wind, spirit and khmixhíyo, khmixhíya those who are lost, gone and Khnèkhtang, Khnèkhtangu a word meaning tho who dance, perform ballet, khoreúō, kordo, danüd; Angels, Þe Skydancren, Sky Lords rendered as Dancren and lrút, lrùlrut those who cover someone or something and lwàqyin East, eastron dreamlands and ojuxujoxíju crying, lamentation and oswókhes those who raise, lift, suspend someone or something and pfhùpa those who are like, as, similar unto someone or something and Piêr eastron folk, those who are from the utmost east, Khniîkhans, Buckruhs, Koâl Piêr Jheîr of Khniîkha and plèjer, plèjerng those who stretch, reach, span, extend, sweep, exist in a place and pwìngefhe, pwìngefhim those who are white, silver, grey and qáyoakh those who greet, hail someone or something and qèmes vaults, bendings, cielceilings, plafonoj, colinzco, dioranz, imela and qthèfhtern his or her or thair hand and qyàyi routes, paths and qyeûnta, qyeqyeûnta those who kindle someone or something and sqaqhìrjos those who are hallow’d, holy and tàlapal seafoam and theûmarl drinks, draughts, drinod, doib, dirischil, uqya and tìjhwa a number, a large number, large group and tlheûngpa those who press someone or something in or on, compress, smush, squish someone or something and tná dreamlands and úlaxhei, úlaxhéyu drutrees and ùrpa, ùrpat wolcen clouds and xhmaîya, xhmaiyelónge those who fill someone or something and xhmú water and xhmùpta Whhhimsical Rainbow Gold; golden mineralbeast, Au, ĥurāşum, bal, nefsis, gråt, quri and xhrúm, xhrúmum darkleness and xhyèparl meodohealls and Xòxhetes Stars, the Skydancers and xùwepe, xuxùwepe cups, tea cups, cucurbits, frenpraf, nanzoiz, brikler, grupån, maχon, eonann, coillsge, qamma.

Ek, my Princess, in the margins of the page I have copied out what you have written about creating neologisms from the sounds of Gibberish, so I think that I can isolate six words or names from the above text which clearly represent something from before the Dreamtime. I copy them out here for you:

Fhalimar Fhalimar from M’alimar
Fhárta Fhárta from M’arn’a, cf Fhárta “fate”
Kalakirya Kalakirya from Kalakirya
Khlórien Khlórien from Lorien
Oiyoláxhe Oiyoláxhe from Oiyolóse
Qalatriel Qalatriel from Q’alan’riel

In fact the translation makes a pun with one of the words, for fhárta is a word meaning fate, but it seems to be used as a name, and the reason we know that is because as a name it does not receive the normal pitch accent that a word in Babel should.
Finally, I should mention, that within the pages of this qeû manuscript I have found yet another version of this first stanza of the poem, but this one is written in a gibberish that I cannot hope to understand. The translation is also slightly different. I reproduce it for you here:

Loryent’aq m’an fh’om xi’q-kh wup Q’alat’riyel
Q’alat’riyel bursts into a sad tribute song in Loryen
Tokh! Xhuxhmox pom Xhut’boq’ wom’fh’oq’ je pormei-xex!
Xhor telmei rur t’ixhmei-xex toq’lakhfh’oq’ paq’!
Mejpux nom tlhutlhfh’oq’ q’ot-xex rurfhoq’ t’ixhmei-xex.
T’arq’ xei vaxhmei jent’aq ting retlh-t’aq
M’art’ax yermei xhut’ fh’ingt’aq pax fh’ojh’ khom’mei.
Q’oq’t’aj lox-n’ix m’ot’lekhfh’ex fh’omt’aj qum’ fh’om.

Zo! Because of the wind yellow leaves fall!

Years that nowho can count fall like the wingfins of drutrees!
Years, like one who drinks quickwise, depart.
In the high meodohealls of delicious tea, beside the south-west, under M’art’ax’s blue domain there the stars shine.
Using hir voice she sings her honorababel psong of an Empress.
T’akh jikhm’at’ rungpix tebqa xim’?
Nunow who will refill the teacup for me?
T’akh Rekhjh’ixhm’ox
Engmei jhixh rurfh’oq q’opt’uxt’aj-xex
Peptax Tintal’e M’art’ax Khom’jokh
Xej khemei khojh’ roxhpux qkhifh’.
Lengfh’oq’ yuxeq’mei lauxt’aq jh’ax makh jojt’aq
Khatlh khurq’m’o qkhot wom’kha’q’ajh’
Xej khojh’loq’ Qalaqiryax naq’fh’ojh’meit’aq xhi’xh.
T’akh Jh’an q’otpuxm’at’ loj M’ali’mar!
Tokh! M’ali’mar t’atuxjaj!
M’ali’mar t’atuxjaj xhokh! Tokh!
Nunuw from Everwhite
Tintal’e M’art’ax, Lady of Stars
Raises hir hands that resemble white clouds
And shadow licks every course.
In the many breaking clouds between us two
Darkleness lies from the darksome countryside
And alwey it rains on the jewls of Qalaqiryax.
Nunnow lost to those of the East is M’ali’mar!
So! May you find M’ali’mar!
May you yourself find M’ali’mar! Well!

[1] Namárie! Altariello Nainië Lóriendesse. By J. R. R. Tolkien. With respect and apologies

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