II — Anglonquian Star Song

The second poem from La poesía ignorada y olvidada is a song by the Anglonquian (or Anglonquin, or Anglonkin, or Anglonkian) people, one of the most populous Native people in North America. Anglonquian are people who speak any of the Angloquian languages, and most of them live in Canada.

Zalamea says this poems reminds him of the “Dionysian happiness of some of Nietzsche’s pages.” Here is the Spanish translation he provides:

Somos las estrellas que cantan.
Cantamos con nuestra luz.
Somos los pájaros de fuego.
Cantamos por encima del cielo.
Nuestra luz es una voz.
Abrimos una ruta a los espíritus
para que pasen los espíritus.
Entre nosotros, tres cazadores
cazan un oso.
Jamás hubo tiempo
en que no lo cazasen.
Despreciamos a las montañas.
Y éste es el canto de las estrellas.

In 1884, Charles G. Leland published a book called The Algonquin Legends of New England, in which he registers some of their poems, myths, legends and prayers in their original language. In the very last page, Leland provides this original text (I’m not sure in which Anglonquian language exactly):

N’loan pes-saus, mok glint ont-aven
Glint ont-aven, nosh mor-gun
N’loan sep-scess syne-duc
Mach-ak wah le-de-born harlo kirk
Pes-sauk-wa morgun pa-zazen.
Dout-tu cowall, yu’eke ne-mess comall
Dow-dar bowsee des ge-che-ne-wes skump,
Na-havak dunko to-awk w’che-mon wh’oak
No-saw yu-well Mooen nill
Mask da-ah gawank la me la-tak-a-dea-on
Di-wa godamr Kadunk-ah dea-on
Glor-ba dea-on glom-de-nee
Glint-wah-gnour pes sausmok.

He also provides this English translation:

We are the stars which sing,
We sing with our light;
We are the birds of fire,
We fly over the sky.
Our light is a voice;
We make a road for spirits,
For the spirits to pass over.
Among us are three hunters
Who chase a bear;
There never was a time
When they were not hunting.
We look down on the mountains.
This is the Song of the Stars.

The Australian band Dead Can Dance adapted this into the lyrics of one of their songs (joining it with a Haitian Kreyòl prayer):

More from Ignored and Forgotten Poetry here.