Tag Archives: poetry


As a means of poetry, I’ve so far only used syllable count.[1. Exemplified in my take on Shelley’s poem Ozymandias and the LCC4 relay (PDF)] What about rhyming word stems, though? For example, karon ‘water, sea’ and beson ‘ship’ rhyme – /rɔn/ : /sɔn/. Could they still be considered to rhyme even if arbitrary suffixes were stacked on them (or not), e.g.:

[gloss]Silvu besonyeley,
ˈsɪl.vu ˌbe.sɔn.je.ˈlɛɪ
see-IMP ship-PL-P.INAN
See {(the) ships,}[/gloss]

[gloss]Yam sarateng karon
jam ˌsa.ra.ˈtɛŋ ˈka.rɔn
DATT go-3P.INAN sea.T
To₁ {they go} {the sea₁}[/gloss]

[gloss]Mang’ avan nongonya.
maŋ ˈa.van nɔ.ˈŋɔn.ja
MOTION bottom river-LOC
Down   {(a/the) river.}[/gloss]

Or would that be too far-fetched? After all, in the case of beson and nongon, word stress shifts around wildly due to the added suffixes, which lessens the similarity in sound even further.[2. Note that all lines contain six syllables at least!]

I’ve so far avoided rhyming with suffixes because that wouldn’t really be too much of a challenge in terms of artificiality – it would be like using the same word twice to force a rhyme in English. On the other hand, it’s not like this wasn’t done in Latin (though post-Classical in that case), which prominently features suffixes as well. Though in the case of “O Fortuna,” the last syllable of a word stem is also taken into account, plus inflectional suffixes, creating a polysyllabic rhyme. Doing it this way would mean, though, that you’d have to make sure the rhyming words are inflected for the same grammatical categories, which in itself might be an interesting challenge as well.

On a completely unrelated side note, look what Miekko has been doing for the past three weeks: Miniature Conlangs.

They Call Me Guitarplayer

Or at least, they do so indirectly, because I chose to go by that nickname on some pages I’m still active on years ago. But anyway, I’m playing the guitar, that’s true, and I like translating things into my constructed language. Especially if it’s a little challenging. Like a song, or a poem. Only my singing leaves something to be desired because of my untrained tonal range, alas … See the video on Youtube.

The original song (Oceansize, “Amputee”) as recorded for the album it’s on (Effloresce, 2003) can be found here, the acoustic version I got the chords from is here. In this case there was no actual meter and the number of syllables per line varies a lot in English already as well, so I only had to keep it about equal, but not strictly equal. I made a PDF that contains interlinear glosses of the lyrics, though the text there deviates slightly from the recording because I misread occasionally.

I already did the same for a Foo Fighters song, so you may want to know if there’s more to follow — No, nothing planned. Why I chose these songs? Because I kind of liked them.

“Sa silvu gumo nā, nay prisu, vāng si lita!”

Just a quick translation challenge to myself …

Sa pengalyang asano / similena tado, ang
naraya: Namāng sam / kāryo nay taryankay
bengyon adāhalya. / Ya hemayong kiyisa
nasay adany’, ahalya, / marinas avanu-ngas.
Ang ningyon igān nay / nanding dijisu yona
nosānas kilisarya / nay sagoyamanas:
Sa layaya ban-ikan / tiyanyāng da-dikun
si telugtong tarela, / ya sapratos linyaye:
sapayas si sagoyong; / padangas si kondis’yong.
Nay sa tahanyo eda- / narān bengyamanya:
“Garanang nā SIMANJAS, / bayhiang bayhiyena:
Sa silvu gumo nā, / nay prisu, vāng si lita!”
Hangara ranyareng palung. / Le apanisareng
ahal-nama kebay, pray, / soya, litoya kayvay,
miday nernanyēa / eda-kiyanena nake.

Obvious from what’s printed in capitals, it’s a rendition of Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley into Ayeri. Explanation, gloss etc. forthcoming in the Media section during the course of this week, I hope. Now I hate myself for neglecting to work on my term paper (15 pages due on the 15th, 0 words written so far) all evening for this… 😡

  • Shelley, Percy Bysshe. “Ozymandias.” Representative Poetry Online. Ed. Ian Lancashire. 3rd ed. U Toronto, 2009. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.