A New Translation of An Inca Rain Poem
Title Page of Royal Commentaries
A New Translation of an Inca Rain Poem
Inca Version English Translation
Sumac nustra Striking goddess,
Tonallaiquim Your possession,
Puinuyquita A water vase,
Pauir cayan Is now bursting,
Hina mantara Causing it to
Cunununun Storm and thunder
Illapantac With jagged bolts,
Camri nusta But you fair youth,
Unuiquita With clean water,
Para munqui Furnish soft rain
Mai nimpiri As well as some
Chichi nunqui Slanting hail stones
Riti munqui And even snow
Pacharurac Through the spirit
Cai hinapac In His power
Churasunqui Has appointed
Camasunqui And made you His.
It is important to note that my translation retains the original four-syllable lines of the Inca language, whereas the flowery English translation made in1966 does not. Pachacamac, appointed by the Great Spirit, Viracocha, gives soul to the creation as seen in his fair maiden's providing rain and snow for the Earth.
To the best of my knowledge this is the first modern translation of this poem.
See also: http://hubpages.com/hub/Translation-of-Ten-Japanese-Haiku. During the 1980's I translated a Chippewa Firefly poem into English for Transition Magazine while teaching at SUNY-Cortland.
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