Thursday, July 5, 2018

Bird in a Cage

horho-i cecike [籠鳥],    Bird in a Cage
Staatsbibliothek 11.45 (View Online)
watai šosiki,    Fiercely quick-tempered one,
guwecina,    I hope you will sing.
atanggi,    But when?
uba tuba šacambi,    You look sideways here and there,
5 jing monggon sampi,    always stretching your neck,
bai jaja jiji,    just twittering away.
kolo onggolo doosi,    You are greedy before you are gentle.
ya oci,    However it may be,
sinda nakū --    after I let you out,
10kesi oihori.    the kind act will be splendid.

Translation Difficulties:

kolo onggolo doosi. For kolo Hu Zengyi points to kolon, with the following example: kolon gaha dobori jilgaranggei《33·教》慈鸟夜啼. In Hu’s example the translator has apparently read 烏, “crow” for 鳥, “bird”, but in any case assuming kolo is meant to translate 慈 then it apparently refers to a gentle temperament. I take the line to mean that the bird can be gentle, but demands feeding first.

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