Friday, May 4, 2018

Praying Mantis

This is the fourth in the series of poems on lowly creatures set to the Double Tune Celebrating the Sacred Dynasty. Like Dragonfly, this one seems to show a kind of admiration for the subject at the beginning, but true to the form it ends with disparaging lines.

heliyen [螳螂]    Praying Mantis
Staatsbibliothek 11.40 (View Online)
bi tuwaci,    To me, it looks
baturu kiyangkiyan,    heroic and intrepid.
tede sejen muheren,    It has a cart and wheels,
minde suhe arhacan,    I have an axe and halberd,

geli ai yadan.

    still, it is not dismayed.

bai gūni,    Just think!
ergen hairakan,    Its strength is pitiable,
fahūn mekele amba,    its courage irrationally great,
beye umesi uyan,    its body very thin,
10banin oilohon.    its appearance ridiculous.

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