Friday, November 24, 2017

Wind, to the tune of Wind in the Pines

This poem seems like a response to the the previous version of Wind, which was set to the Black-Naped Oriole tune. The two poems use the same rhyme, but while the previous poem described the wind in sublime and lofty terms, ending with a reference to the primordial eldest sister, this poem takes the eldest sister and imbues her with might and power.

The Manchu poems set to Wind in the Pines in Staatsbibliothek 11 and 14 consist of two stanzas with the metrical pattern 7,5,7,7,6,6 and rhyme pattern A,A,x,A,xA. This is essentially the same as the  tune 風入松 as used by Song poet Wú Wényīng in a work titled 鄰舟妙香 (“Wonderful fragrance of the neighboring boat.”)

In addition to fitting the Chinese  pattern, this poem also makes every line alliterative.

edun [風]    Wind
feng žu sung [風入松] sere mudan    To the tune of Wind in the Pines
Staatsbibliothek 11.17 (View Online)
ere eyungge eyun,    This eldest sister,
dosire dosin,    her entry, when she enters,
ara arbun amba ni,    doesn’t she take a mighty form?
asuki, ai ajigen,    A faint noise, but nothing small,
5 fafuri fafungga,    stern when fierce,
nemeyen nesuken.

    tender when gentle.

lasihire lalahūn,    The soft one that shakes
wenere weren,    is the ripple that melts.
10were wara encu ba,    She will nurture and kill in different places,
enteke encu erin,    she does so in different seasons.
mutubure muten,    The force that raises to maturity
šahūrara šajin.    is the holy power that makes cold.

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