For Duchess Kaylah the Cheerful upon her Elevation to the Order of the Pelican
By TH Laird Colyne Stewart, Feb AS 51 (2017)
Serving is a calling sloth is retreating before it ·
Study of noblesse the serious woman is knowing
Based on “The Mongolian Poem of Muhammad al-Samarqandi” (1290s), which, in English, reads:
Knowledge is an ocean, the jewel retreats before it, the law of knowledge, the wise man knows
In the original Mongolian, the poem consists of four verses. The first, third and fourth verses alliterated with other. As well, the verb endings repeated in the first, second and fourth verses. I have imitated this by alliterating the letter S (the fact that the second verse also alliterates is either an added bonus or a failure on my part to adhere to the original) and by having three verbs ending in “ing”. The only punctuation in the original was a single dot between the first two verses and the last two (which I have also done).
Just as the original poet (who was Persian) wrote of a culture other than his own, do I write of a household not my own (which also allows me to mimic the original poem’s title).
The Poem of Muhammad al-Samarqandi, http://www.linguamongolia.com/Muhammad%20al-Samarqandi.pdf
De Rachewiltz, Igor. “The Mongolian Poem of Muhammad al-Samarqandī ,” Central Asiatic Journal,
Vol. 12, No. 4 (1969), pp. 280-285, Published by: Harrassowitz Verlag. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41926793