spiralsheep: Reality is a dangerous concept (babel Blake Reality Dangerous Concept)
Humph ([personal profile] spiralsheep) wrote in [community profile] forkedtongues2012-04-03 02:08 pm

Hill Speak by Zaffar Kunial

A poem about language, scripts, and translations, offered without translation, because I thought some of you would appreciate it.

Hill Speak by Zaffar Kunial
 
There is no dictionary for my father’s language.
His dialect, for a start, is difficult to name.
Even this taxi driver, who talks it, lacks the knowledge.
Some say it’s Pahari – ‘hill speak’ –
others, Potwari, or Pahari-Potwari –
too earthy and scriptless to find a home in books.
This mountain speech is a low language. Ours. “No good.
You should learn speak Urdu.” I’m getting the runaround.
 
Whatever it is, this talk, going back, did once have a script:
Landa, in the reign of the Buddhists.
... So was Dad’s speech some kind of Dogri?
Is it Kashmiri? Mirpuri? The differences are lost on me.
I’m told it’s part way towards Punjabi,
but what that tongue would call tuvarda,
Dad would agree was tusaana –
‘yours’ –
 
truly, though there are many dictionaries for the tongue I speak,
it’s the close-by things I’m lost to say;
things as pulsed and present as the back of this hand,
never mind stumbling towards some higher plane.
And, either way, even at the rare moment I get towards –
or, thank God, even getting to –
my point, I can’t put into words
where I’ve arrived.

[personal profile] noldo 2012-04-03 02:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my goodness. How wonderful. Thank you for sharing this, what a pleasure to read.
dhobikikutti: earthen diya (Default)

[personal profile] dhobikikutti 2012-04-03 05:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Subhanallah. Thanks for sharing.
glass_icarus: (cupped hands)

[personal profile] glass_icarus 2012-04-03 08:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, thank you so much for posting this. *____*