Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ice Skates

A couple of weeks ago I went ice skating for the first time in my life, so now seems like a good time to post this poem.

What I like about this one is that its topic is fun and everyday. I have searched the Sou-Yun database for any similar Chinese poem on ice skates, but I have not found one.

I wrestled with whether the poet was the skater, or whether it was addressed to another person. The important difference, to me, is whether the poem was intended to mock another person or to be humorously self-deprecating. I decided to read it as the latter because of the uttu at the beginning, “like this,” which seems like it would more likely have been tuttu if describing another person.

nisukū-i [冰鞋] uculen    A Little Song on Ice Skates
Staatsbibliothek 14.3 (View Online)
hūdun ai uttu,    I am so quick,
garsangga,    agile,
ildamu,    elegant,
sururengge ben fulu,    most capable at amusing people,
5sain ubu,    first-class,
bonggo uju,    the pinnacle of excellence,
anahūnjan jai akū,    and second to none in modesty.
gelesu,    Careful!
tuhekede —    When I fall —
10amba injeku.    it is very funny.

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