Monday, July 16, 2007

Versez in a Werld a Kiendness

What follows is an opening vista from one of the tales in “Versez in a Werld a Kiendness,” from my midrashic poem, Pardaes Dokkumen. The Torah identifies 2 somewhat mysterious states of being: tammay (tamai) and tahhor (tahor). They are usually translated as ‘impure’ and ‘pure,’ or ‘unclean’ and ‘clean.’ I would suggest that perhaps a better understanding would be ‘complex’ and ‘simplified,’ or ‘stressed’ and ‘composed.’ Below are the tammay and tahhor versions of this text. You will see what I mean. For those more interested in the poetry than in my analysis of biblical terminology, I have put the tahhor version (edited and refined, simplified, composed, clean version) of the poem first.

A donkee driver wonderd a krouked trael.
Heer he the vareyan korrus ov the lokus,
Draggenfly, krikket, mosketo, bee,
Ov sparo and jay, mokkenberd, ren,
The russellen mertel and rattellee palm;
The smell ov fig iz rotten by the trael,
The supprize ov gwovva, entoxxakkaten vaelz,
Wield orreggenno krusht by hiz weel,
Ukalliptus branch overhaengen the path;
Seez a pachwerk texcher, thikket and krop,
The raw ferro erths, the almond grove,
Feeldz liend with sipress and boogannveya ro,
The ragged hillside in dustee olliv shaedz,
Pasteesh ov rock, chawkee wite tu gray;
The arid woddee and villij enkarvd
In stone and morter, dome and kortyard,
Kut intu the kontor. The land that iz himm.

And the donkee? Wut will he expere?
The grunts ov the man iz the song he heer.
The dust and stone at hiz houf the horize.
Dung in the roed the frangrens he deziyer .
Hiz masterz rod inspiyren hiz gaet.
And brayz he much ov hiz tedeyus way.

A donkee driver wonderd (a wiended)(a krouked)(iz loenlee) trael.
[Heer(z) he the vareyan][He heer(z) the vareed] korrus (ov a)

Draggenfly, krikket, mosketo, bee;
Ov sparo and jay, mokkenberd, (and) ren;
(The Ov) shudder(ing leevz)(ov ukallip)(ov mertel) and rattel ov

The smell ov fig (rotten on grownz),
The (rare supprize) gwovva (tree), its [hevvenlee (wiffs)]
          [hevven perfume]

          [entoxxakkaten (smell)][entoxxen its smell];
Wield orreggenno (brusht krusht) by hiz weel(z),
Ukalliptus branch(ez) overhaengen (the hiz) (path);
Seez a pachwerk (in) texcher, vinyerd and krop,
The (raw ferro)(unplanten) (erths feeld(z)), the (wienden rokkee)
           trael and
Roedz lien(d z) with sipress and boogannveya hej,
The (ragged rugged) hillside in dustee olliv (shaedz greenz),
Pasteesh ov rock, chawkee wite tu gray;
The (dry arid) woddee and villij (all splayd)(enkarvd embedden

(In Ov) stone and (morter plaster), wall and dome,
Kut intu the (erth lan). Thus the landz (tael himm vois seeng seel).

And the donkee? Wut iz he (expere see)?
The grunts ov the man (the song he heer).
The dust and stone at hiz houf he (reed see).
Dung in the roed the frangrens he (luv kno persu seek follo).
Hiz masterz rod all that he feel.
And (brayz braez) he (much ov)(all)(oft on) (hiz the) (tedeyus) way.

No comments: