Nov 272012

I just wanted to translate a quick tajnis so I could take a nap. Then this one turned out to be quite difficult. Nothing ever works out for me. Anyway, the Key Word is ʕadí, which means both “jewel” and “mouth.” I tend to translate the medieval poets’ many references to the mouth, whether they call it peh or ʕadí, as “lips,” since in English it sounds alternately childish or vaguely creepy (to me) to talk about kissing someone on the mouth, or how beautiful someone’s mouth is. Languages.

Moshe ibn Ezra (1060? – 1140?)
In the Fawn’s Hand the Glass

In the fawn’s hand the glass will rise like a star
  and the West he shall make like his jewel
And its lights shall shine bright on his cheek, beautified
  in its splendor by his lips’ dazzling glory.

משה אבן עזרא / موسى ابن عزرا
יעלה כמו כוכב ביד עופר

יַעְלֶה כְּמוֹ כוֹכָב בְּיַד עֹפֶר \ הַכּוֹס וּמַעְרָבוֹ יְשַׁו עֶדְיוֹ
וַזְרְחוּ אוֹרָיו עֲלֵי לֶחְיוֹ \ וַיִּיף בְּהוֹדוֹ מִצְּבִי עֶדְיוֹ.


Yaʕléh kemó khokháv be-yád ʕófer / ha-kós u-maʕravó yesháv ʕedyó
Vazereḥú ‘oráv ʕaléi leḥyó / va-yíf be-hodó mi-tzeví ʕedyó.

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