Tez yezhrriag rrelta marrgai;
Of the Starling Song
Courageous deeds are spoken with the song of the starling;
fue marrga-rrel [fy 'marga,rel] about starling-birdsong tez yezh-rriag-0 rrel-ta marrga-i* ['tez 'jez",riak 'relta 'margai] speak courageous-deed-ABS. birdsong-INST. starling-GEN. reun-ma zhana-0 gram-eot mugh-a ['r*U"nma 'z"ana 'gr*amO"t 'muGa] wash-REFL. heron-ABS. rain-INST. morning-GEN. virr-ra mav por lhon khar thlom-or ['vira 'mav 'por* 'Lon 'xar* 'l"omor*] lark-ERG. admire star sacred at night-dark so-ra bez-lu reamag tir-i ['sor*a 'bezlu 'r*Emak 'tir*i] who-ERG. perceive-DIR. truth bird-GEN.
I've always thought that Jarrda sounds awkward and artificial, but this
poem worked out nicely with only minor changes. No rhymes, but perhaps
Janarr don't need rhymes in their poetry. In any case, the meter is almost
consistently in trochaic tetrameter except for the word yezhrriag and the four successive stressed monosyllables in the third line.
The word for "starling" is a borrowing from Tirelat. The other bird names are former Jarrda words that have been reassigned to Tirelat.
The Jarrda version is actually genderless, but "him/herself" is exceedingly awkward in English, and I don't like the sound of "itself" referring to a living being.
© Irina Rempt, Herman Miller 06-07-1999