02 April 2011

Day 3 - Predicting My Death

NaPoWriMo posted this prompt:
"Cesar Vallejo wrote a pretty famous poem that begins with him saying that he will die in Paris, in the rain, on a Thursday (different translations from the Spanish make it hard to quote precisely in English). So go ahead and write a poem predicting your own death — at night in Omaha at the Shell Station, in an underwater Mexican grotto after a dry spell. It’s less morbid than you think!"

Spring Rain

I will die on a Wednesday in May,
happy to have seen one last spring rain.
Any later, and summer will make it too hot for dying.
Any sooner, and I'll miss some of the best flowering.

It will be raining because that relaxes me,
and reminds me of growth, childhood, and magic.
Perhaps I'll have just finished drinking a bit of tea.
Maybe, I won't even have been sick.

Life, and death, sometimes just happen that way.
On a Wednesday,
in May,
after a spring rain.

And because I thought it would be fun, I have translated it into Esperanto. I have been learning this language, practicing a little bit every Monday by getting online to chat with others and visiting lernu.net where there are free Esperanto courses. I love this beautiful, wonderful language.

Esperanto was created by L.L. Zamenhoff in order to be everyone's second language. Because it didn't come from one nation or group of people, every one speaking it would be on even ground, as opposed to English being used at the UN meetings and native English speakers having an advantage in debates and discussions. Because there are no rule exceptions (such as oddly conjugated verbs), Esperanto grammar and structure are much easier to learn than most languages. There are about 900 roots, suffixes, prefixes, and main meanings, which can be combined to form over 100,000 words. This means learning even 100 roots can help you understand about 1000 words. Over one million people speak it fluently worldwide, and some schools teach it to younger children as a framework for learning other languages. Through local, national, and international meetings, Esperanto has also developed its own culture. The original idea was a language to help foster world peace and equality, so that feeling carries through all of the gatherings and interactions between Esperanto speakers.

Give the poem a read, and you may even see some words you can recognize.

Printempa Pluvo

Mi mortos unu merkredo en majo,
feliĉa vidis finalan printempan pluvon.
Pli malfrue, kaj somero faris lan veteron tro varma por mortado.
Pli frue, kaj mi mankis kelke de plej bonan floradon.

Pluvus pro tio ke malstreĉiĝas min,
kaj memorigis min de kresko, infanaĝo, kaj sorĉado.
Eble mi finis trinkadon iom teo.
Eble, mi ne estas malsana.

Vivo, kaj morto, kelkfoje okazas en tia maniero.
Unu merkredo,
en majo,
poste printema pluvo.

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