summer haiku – a dead crow = un corbeau mort

summer haiku – a dead crow = un corbeau mort

a dead crow
by the gravel road
struck by a stone

un corbeau mort
sur la route de gravier
frappé par une pierre

Richard Vallance

photo public domain

I simply adore crows. They are so smart. J'adore tellement les corbeaux. Ils sont si intelligents.


senryu – what me? I never = je ne vois jamais

senryu – what me? I never   = je ne vois jamais

what me? I never
see a boy I never like -
how's about you?

je ne vois jamais
un beau garçon que je n'aime pas -
et toi alors ?

Richard Vallance

illustrated senryu illustré © by/ par Richard Vallance 2019 
painting, Hesiod and the Muse (1857) by Gustave Moreau (1826-1898)
peinture, Hésiode et la Muse ( 1857 ) par Gustave Moreau ( 1826-1898 )

Sonnet The Vallances

Sonnet The Vallances

for Judy, Meagan, Holly, Mitchell all the Vallances

Here's Richard Vallance, Judy Harris Vallance,
Meagan Holly and Mitchell, nieces and nephew,
Bill Vallance, Donna too and a fine chance 
plenty more abound, and you know it's true.

Our family crest bespeaks of Normandie
where we lived our lives in lavish wealth
where we were crowned as ducal royalty
and never had to hide from court in stealth.

The King of France was our next of kin
and Notre Dame our angelic home,
where the chartreuse Seine quelled the city's din
silenced by our cathedral's holy dome.

And though you wonder why we're Scots by blood
the fleur-de-lys is our indigo bud.

Richard Vallance

October 14 2019

This is my family on my mother's side, as my full name is Richard Vallance Janke. We are in fact descended from the ducal family, De Valence, in Normandy and were related to the King of France in the thirteenth century.

winter haiku d’hiver – the bounty hunter = le chasseur de primes

winter haiku d'hiver – the bounty hunter = le chasseur de primes

the bounty hunter
snares a wight fox pup
snapped in half

le chasseur de primes
piège un chiot renard blanc
craqué en deux 

Richard Vallance

NOTE: I fully realize that haiku such as this one probably disgust some of you folks, but I am trying to wake you up to human cruelty and our destruction of wildlife.

Je me rends compte du fait que des haiku tels que celui-ci peuvent écoureur plusieurs parmi vous, mais je tente de vous réveiller à la cruauté humaine et à notre destruction de la faune sauvage.

winter haiku d’hiver = the snowy owl = l’harfang des neiges = il gufo delle neve

winter haiku d'hiver = the snowy owl = l'harfang des neiges = il gufo delle neve

the snowy owl calls the moon to his eyes

l'harfang des neiges appelle la lune à ses yeux

il gufo delle nevi chiama la luna ai suoi occhi

Richard Vallance

photo pubic domain

summer haiku d’été – the village fountain = the fontaine du village

summer haiku d'été – the village fountain = the fontaine du village

in the pouring rain
the village fountain
where a bluebird frolics

là dans l'averse
la fontaine du village
où joue un merle bleu

Richard Vallance

winter haiku d’hiver – the drowsy gopher = la marmotte somnolente

winter haiku d'hiver – the drowsy gopher = la marmotte somnolente

the drowsy gopher
peers at his shadow –
off to beddie bye 

la marmotte somnolente
voit sa silhouette –
zut ! il faut cuver

Richard Vallance

photo public domain

tragic summer haiku d’été tragique – a pelican = un pélican = un pellicano

tragic summer haiku d'été tragique – a pelican = un pélican = un pellicano

a pelican
wailing... help!
glued to oil

un pélican 
hurle ... au secours !
collé à l'huile

un pellicano
grida... aiuto!
bloccato in olio

Richard Vallance

photo public domain

autumn haiku d’automne – an early frost = un gel imprévu

autumn haiku d'automne – an early frost = un gel imprévu

in/ en 2 versions/ en 2 versioni

an early frost
bids the rose adieu
is it afraid?

an early frost
bids the rose adieu
who is afraid?  

un gel imprévu
salue la rose adieu
a-t-elle peur ?

un gel imprévu
salue la rose adieu
qui a peur ?

un gelo precoce
dice addio alla rosa
ha paura?

un gelo precoce
dice addio alla rosa
chi ha paura?

Richard Vallance

Sublime Sappho. The moon has set & the Pleiades (in Aeolic Greek, Linear B, Linear C, English & French)

Sublime Sappho. The moon has set & the Pleiades (in Aeolic Greek, Linear B, Linear C, English & French): Click to ENLARGE

Sappho poetry Elihu Vedder 1836-1923 The Pleiades 1885

This is the first of many exquisite poems by the sublime Sappho (ca. 630-570 BCE), who was considered by the ancient Greeks to be second only to Homer, as well as the greatest lyric poet of their age. Indeed, even today, a great many poets and poetry critics, including myself, consider her to hold this exalted station still. You will all see this for yourselves as I post one after another of her exalted lyrics. I have decided to go all the way, by presenting you each poem in the original Aeolic Greek, as well as in Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, and even English and French! Throughout history, to this very day, no one has ever done this. I am the first. I am so in awe Sappho’s consummate skill and artistry that I will do anything to broadcast her name and her sublime poetry to the whole world.

This particular poem is my absolute favourite. It flows so naturally in Aeolic Greek that it washes over me, emotionally and spiritually. Like Italian, Aeolic Greek is superbly suited for lyric poetry, as it has no aspirates. Aspiration can and sometimes does sound harsh in lyric poetry. Aeolic Greek is notable for its sublime melody. If you could only hear this stunning poem, even if you could not even read Aeolic Greek, the Harmony of the Spheres would fairly floor you. Sappho knew this perfectly well. Her lyrics were, of course, sung to the accompaniment of the lyre. I have never read any lyric poet in any language (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German or Russian) who has ever been able to rival her consummate artistry. I adore her. Click to ENLARGE her portrait.

Simeon Solomon 1840-1905 A Study of Sappho 1862

A few linguistic notes:

Being an East Greek dialect, Aeolic Greek is related to both the Mycenaean & Arcado-Cypriot dialects. There are many striking similarities and some notable differences in these three dialects.

Mycenaean Greek in Linear B:

Mycenaean Greek has no L series of syllabograms. The R series must be substituted, hence “serana” for Aeolic “selanna”. Since Linear B is an open syllabary, in which all syllabograms must end with a vowel, it is impossible to spell any word with two consecutive consonants, hence the last syllable of “serana” has only 1 N. For the same reason, final consonants, which are normative in almost all ancient Greek dialects, must be omitted in Mycenaean Greek. Hence, we have “me” for “men”. It is difficult to express the plural in Mycenaean Greek. However, there are precedents. The plural of “apore” (amphora) is “aporewe”. This allows us to write the Pleiades as “Periadewe”.

Arcado-Cypriot Linear C:

Similar bizarre (parallel) spelling conventions plague Arcado-Cypriot Linear C . Unlike Linear B, which has a dental D series of syllabograms, Linear C lacks it, and must substitute the dental T series. On the other hand, Linear C has both an L and an R series, and so both liquids can be accounted for. Since documents in alphabetic Arcado-Cypriot must express the final consonant, in line with almost all other ancient Greek dialects, Linear C has no choice but to resort to the opposite strategy from Mycenaean Linear B for the orthography of the ultimate, when it is meant to express the dative singular, the nominative plural and for all other Greek words ending with a consonant. The consonant must be expressed in Linear C, since it is always written in the alphabet. This is absolutely de rigueur, since many documents are simultaneously composed in Linear C and in the alphabet. In order to achieve this, Linear C has no choice but to use syllabograms, which still end in a vowel. It neatly skirts this annoying problem by expressing the ultimate consonant, following it with a filler vowel. A weird solution, but it works. If it works, it works. No hay problema nada.
Hence, we have “mene” for “men”, which is the opposite of “me” for “men” in Linear C. Likewise, the plural is always clearly expressed, as in “peleitese”, where Linear C must also insert a final filler vowel, in most cases SE (to express the consonantal plural in sigma), as well as NE for all nouns ending in the consonant N. Such nouns are extremely common in ancient Greek dialects. Notice also the “te” in “peleitese”, since Linear C has no D series of syllabograms. On the other hand, both Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot have no G series of syllabograms.

Mycenaean Linear B must substitute either the K or the Q series. Arcado-Cypriot has no guttural Q series either, so all words with G + vowel must be expressed by K + vowel, hence “eko” for “ego” in both Linear B & C. I can hear you who read ancient Greek well or who are ancient Greek linguistics loudly protest that there were no personal pronouns in either Linear B or Linear C. And you are right. However, I had to take liberties with the Aeolic Greek, because it does use personal pronouns, and frequently. As for the likelihood that Mycenaean Greek would have used the Q series of syllabograms to express words with guttural G + vowel, I would readily grant that this may have been true, except for one critical consideration. Mycenaean & Arcado-Cypriot were the closest ancient Greek dialects by far, being kissing cousins. So if Arcado-Cypriot expresses G + vowel with the guttural K series of syllabograms, it stands to reason that it is more likely than not that Mycenaean Greek must have done the same thing. But there is no guarantee of this. Still, the Q series of syllabograms would have fit the bill just as well.

And there you have it.