This is one of two poems composed on the theme “after an autumn rain.” The image above uses the calligraphy of the Staatsbibliothek manuscript on the background of a painting by Julian Alden Weir titled Autumn Rain.
| bolori agaha amala|
bai irgebuhe uculen
|A Simple Song After Autumn Rain|
|Staatsbibliothek 11.73 (View Online)|
|selacuka fon,||A pleasing season,|
|wangga wa su hon hihan,||rare and wonderful are the smells and whirlwinds.|
|5||aga simeliyan,||The rains are lonesome,|
|edun mandakan,||the breezes gentle,|
|bolori fiyan gincihiyan,||the autumn colors brilliant.|
|la li seme,||sharply and clearly|
|10||ne je saikan ton.||that this, right now, is a beautiful time.|
Translation Noteswangga wa. The most obvious English translations for wangga lean heavily in the direction of the negative (smelly, odorous) or flowery (scented, fragrant). While wangga is indeed used to refer to the scent of flowers, it is also used to describe a broad range of other pleasant aromas such as autumn leaves, wine, and winter rain. I chose to reduce wangga wa to simply “smells” to encompass this range of meaning.
hihan. The word hihan conveys the idea that the winds and smells of Autumn are not encountered in any other season, and are precious for that reason. I can’t think of a single English word that really conveys this idea, so I have landed on “rare and wonderful” to capture both parts of the meaning.
simeliyan. My dictionaries don’t have this word, but I do find simeli, “lonely, bleak” and simelen, “marsh.”