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A New Translation of An Inca Rain Poem

Updated on December 9, 2016

Title Page of Royal Commentaries

A New Translation of an Inca Rain Poem

Rain Maiden

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

Pachacamac Pachacamac,

Viracocha Viracocha,

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.

Inca Culture

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    • kookoo88 profile image

      kookoo88 6 years ago from Cripple Creek

      That's really nice. It's really interesting how important water and lightning were in all ancient civilizations.

    • juneaukid profile image
      Author

      Richard Francis Fleck 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      True enough, the sky elements were indeed important

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for the pleasure of reading it.

    • juneaukid profile image
      Author

      Richard Francis Fleck 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      You are welcome!

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      You are so talented.

    • juneaukid profile image
      Author

      Richard Francis Fleck 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thanks again!

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