Manava

Hello folks.

Been working on my own language for quite a bit now and it has finally entered the stage where I can make legible sentences with it. I have enough words (about 100?) as well so I thought I would show it off and see what people think and get any tips or advice on the theory behind it. I am a linguistics graduate student in progress so I will probably be working on this for a long time. First though, some sentences! Yay!

Bala Mari vakàshmu mazakemva?

`Bala    Mari         vakàsh-mu                 ma-zakem-va?`

`why    mari-SU    circumambulate-PP    the-tree-DO?`

Why did Mari circumambulate the tree?

Marivarum misammu mavàra’va mujam mapira’.

`Marivarum          misam-mu    ma-vàra’-va      mujam     ma-pira’.`

`marivarum-SU    put-PP           the-water-DO    near          the-fire.`

Marivarum put the water near the fire.

Bahar narekmu vana mushakamva.

`Bahar          narek-mu    vana    mushakam-va.`

`bahar-SU     expose-PP    her      avarice-DO.`

Bahar exposed her avarice.

Mari hiramme.

`Mari          hiram-me.`

`mari-SU    tears-FUT.`

Mari is going to cry.

(my first attempt at glossing btw)

Phonology:

Consonants:

M [m], N [n], V [β], H [h], Y [j], Z [z], L [l], P [p], B [b], D [d], G [g], J [ʒ], K [k], R [ɾ], S [s], T [t], Sh [ʃ], Th [θ], ‘ [ʔ]

Bilabial Dental Alveolar Post Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p, b t d k, g ʔ
Nasal m n
Tap/Flap ɾ
Fricative β θ s, z ʃ, ʒ h
Approx j
Lat Approx l

 

Vowels:

À [æ] (as in ”apple”),

A [ɑ] (as in “pot”),

E [ɛ] (as in “pet”),

I [i] (as in “see”),

U [u] (as in “do”)

Word Construction:

One of the major features I want from making this language is for it to be useable, even if only by myself. I do intend to use it in a very practical way once I get a heftier vocabulary going on. I make the words manually though I use an awkwords generator for inspiration. Here are the settings if anyone is interested; though it does produce some invalid words. (nouns cannot end in ma, me, mu, or va as these are grammatical affixes)

V: a/i/u/e/à

C: m*4/n*4/v*4/h*2/y/z/l*4/p*3/b*2/d*3/g*3/j*2/k*4/r*2/s*4/t*2/sh*4/’*2

N: am/um/VC

Pattern: CVCVCVCN*3/CVCVCN*3/CVCVC*2/CVCN*1/CVCV*2

Grammar (so far):

The language is also meant to be inflected so that word order does not matter at all. The interesting thing is that all content words are nouns, including verbs. And verbs and their tenses are determined via affixes.

`”-ma” is present tense.

”-me” is future tense.

”-mu” is past tense.`

I am currently working on how to determine subjects and objects, currently the direct object is determined by appending the affix “-va” to the noun that the action is being done to. I have not figured the rest out so currently the language is semi-inflected. This is why there is no indirect object indicator in the second example. The subject is just the root of the noun.

Anyways, I think that covers it really. I am working on a vocabulary slowly, maybe a dozen words a day. At some point I need to just sit down and pump out a lot of words.

Not dead yet…

Nah, just been busy. I am however now a Degree holding Sociologist. 😀 I am beginning my masters in Linguistics/ESL. I hope to write up a few more posts in the near future. I am not as active as I could be on this blog; but, I am keeping this blog for my more thought-out rants. I intend to write up a post on what I think is good poetry as well as my thoughts on language construction and the construction of my own language, Manava.

The problem of “Intellectual Property”

Intellectual Property is an unjust concept. But, rather than get into the philosophy about objects; ownership, and value. I am just going to get straight to the practical point.

The idea behind intellectual property is that one owns an idea and so they can retain the “rights” to it and license those rights out. Aside from the fact that it is basically a glorified Honor System, the big problem is the buying and selling of intellectual property. When a transaction occurs involving intellectual property; what happens is that one person trades wealth, such as time (from their limited lives) or objects (from the limited earth) for something which is not wealth, an idea. This is called in other terms a “redistribution of wealth”, wealth is going from one to another, rather than being exchanged. It is a transaction where wealth goes one way.

Now, this wouldn’t be such a huge problem if it only occurred once, after all the “owner” of the idea put in some kind of effort to produce the idea; even if it’s just writing it down on a slip of paper (such as what banks do with their fiat-”idea”-currency.) But, this doesn’t happen once. It happens many times, billions of times every day. It comes in many forms: drugs, food, code, written works, currency, and so on. When it happens once you get a situation where one is trading the limited time they spent for someone else’s limited time or for a piece of the limited earth. When they trade it again they are no longer doing that as it did not cost them the same amount of time in exchange for the same amount of time or material they got from someone else. That is, the second transaction was a situation where the seller got something for free.

When the seller gets something for free thousands, millions, or billions of times; they will accumulate a lot of wealth at no cost to their own time or wealth. The only “cost” they have is in maintaining their “right” over the idea. A cost that wouldn’t exist if they didn’t engage in this kind of transaction in the first place. When many people do this you have a pooling of wealth from many into the hands of the few. This is called a wealth disparity (ie. “the 1%”). The classic example is banks; banks turned “risk” into an object and sold that object in the form of interest on loans. This is intellectual property; even though that term is not used. When fiat currency came along it became literal intellectual property in that the banks issued notes with a serial number (product key, for you younger folks) on them. While still retaining “ownership” of that bank note. So banks traded your time and wealth for their bunch of numbers printed on a piece of paper. This is how they accumulated wealth because they were engaged in transactions that were one way.

Intellectual property creates wealth disparity; in turn creating poverty. It is present in all major industries. Pharmaceutical companies for example, do not produce wealth. They produce a formula that they sell for billions. Many arms companies do not produce wealth; they produce schematics that are sold for millions. Agriculture companies (monsanto) produces little to nothing; they simply licenses seeds and other plants and then you pay a license to grow them. Entertainment and Fashion industries do not produce wealth; they produce ideas that are sold. You pay time to mcdonalds who gives you banknotes (ideas) that you don’t own that you then trade to netflix who shows you films that you do not own. You actually gain no wealth from that whole process; but you lose it. Billions of people live this way trading wealth for virtually nothing. Millions of others (the elite, so to speak) gain time and wealth at virtually no cost other than the cost of maintaining the IP. When this system goes on with billions of transactions; after awhile the wealth will be in the hands of a few, a few that gets smaller and smaller as more people are bought out.

IP is the reason there is wealth disparity in the world; it is the reason there is poverty. It is true these industries do have some revenue that isn’t from IP, but the vast bulk of it is based on IP, the whole banking system is based on IP. The so called 1% exists because of IP. Because people dare to claim ownership of ideas. There are other super wealthy industries that do not use IP as much of course, like the energy industry (the people behind why war exists), natural resources (you know, child miners and and theft of brown people’s land), and our lovely friends south of the border producing all of that sticky icky. Oh, and women selling their bodies.

This is why I do not support IP, patenting, or copyright.

Ghazal of Gold

Ghazal of Gold

 

Red silks that wrap and hold; details inlaid with gold.

Bangles bright with bells held tight; jingles set in gold.

 

Her movement is a feat; it’s something to behold.

That royal beat; in transmuting stone to gold.

 

Her arms display a grace, from that the tales are told.

Movement right with steady pace; hands adorned in gold.

 

Her eyes are alchemy, tinctures that don’t withhold.

They connect with me, whilst coating my heart in gold.

 

Her hair’s black as despair; but nothing just as old.

Dark shades soaring through the air, spreading musk of gold.

 

Her voice leaves one in awe; it isn’t something sold.

As it moves us all, it’s pure honey mixed with gold.

 

A dance that is behest; encountered by Saleem.

From it we see the best; that is a dance of gold.

Victim Stew

Haven’t been writing as of late; so here is something I did a few months ago.

Victim Stew

Victim culture as it stands is part and parcel of

The lands. Expect integrity; though take offense for

Sure when public true; you never know what benefits

That victim status brings to you. Keep in mind; it’s said

The loudest voice will always win; so be sure to scream

To heart’s content. And with this advice you should begin.

Oppressed and Shamed, the titles that you seek. In seeking

Them you knell the Meek and stoke the Flamed. A titled earned,

By you it’s claimed, wear your badge with honor bound. In this

There is something profound. A warning though; so listen

Close. In striving through to status gained you may upset

The ill profaned. Abandon reason for it will halt

Your progress to that sacred vault. Filled with riches true,

Status found; victim stew. Something made; it’s just for you.

Poem Time

Not with eyes of hope.

Nor with tears of joy.

Not with a heart of gold.

Just embracing cold.

 

An edge with high contrast.

Cradled like a newborn life.

The warmth inside; it feels.

As it moves to end a life.

 

A dream, that’s true.

What could have been.

It was not; I know not why.

All’s I know; I did not die.

The Problem of Free Verse

 

I started writing poetry 4 or 5 years ago. I spent a long time reading poetry online and poetry that was “current”, and I kept finding this prose stuff with line breaks. I would say my first experience with “real” poetry was Alexander Pope; and his poem on critique, ironically.

“Then criticism the Muse’s handmaid prov’d,

To dress her charms, and make her more belov’d;

But following wits from that intention stray’d;

Who could not win the mistress, woo’d the maid;

Against the poets their own arms they turn’d,

Sure to hate most the men from whom they learn’d.

So modern ‘pothecaries, taught the art

By doctor’s bills to play the doctor’s part,

Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,

Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools.

Some on the leaves of ancient authors prey,

Nor time nor moths e’er spoil’d so much as they:

Some drily plain, without invention’s aid,

Write dull receipts how poems may be made:

These leave the sense, their learning to display,

And those explain the meaning quite away.”

I really got a sense of what this short section was conveying when I started to think about Free Verse. I eventually came to the conclusion that Free Verse is pretty crap. I want to explain why.

Poetry is generally considered either good poetry or bad poetry. It stands that that if there is a way to rank something as good, bad, or average; then there must be some standard by which to make such a ranking. It also stands that in order to progress as a poet; to “get better”, one needs a standard by which to judge themselves. For a standard to be a good standard it needs to be something understandable by all people, especially those not educated in how a standard is made. Celsius as a standard does not need much explanation, higher numbers are hotter; lower numbers are colder. The Metric system does not need much explanation; you put a measuring tape down and you count lines. You use a measuring cup with a particular number on it. For any of these you don’t need to understand the whys and hows of their construction. Finally, standards have to have elements unique to themselves; this avoids confusion and redundancy.

The reason free verse is bad is because it has no standard. There is nothing objectively measurable about free verse. There are no rules in free verse by which to rank a free verse poem as good or bad. There is nothing inherent in it that lets your average person know if it’s good or not. Your average person thinks its prose; even if they don’t know the word prose. You tell them its poetry and you will get an awkward “okay..”; the fact that you have to explain that it is poetry should be the devilish detail that lets you know it’s bad.

My belief why this alleged form of poetry is so popular is precisely because of the fact I have just mentioned. It isn’t rankable and everyone fancies themselves an artist. Given the current social climate in America; where every small slight against a person is taken as the greatest personal insult (1), it makes perfect sense that the most popular forms of art are forms that cannot be ranked. It is why “mumble rap” is a thing. People put a lot of energy into their poetry and they feel bad when someone says it’s shit; the solution? Adopt a form of poetry that has no objective standard to it and that no layman can understand. Another word for this practice is called Elitism. Elitism is when you have a small group of people who do things in a particular way and it is viewed as better than what others do in a particular field. Poetry has become incredibly elitist in the last century. The dominance of a form of poetry that -only- other poets understand and can “judge” should be sufficient evidence of that. The fact that you cannot publish (or that publishing still matters) anything other than free verse unless you are well connected; is proof positive.

It is true, however, that the poetry elites will claim that there are some rules to free verse. Some will claim it has meter; albeit they make this claim in the same sense that I say the following string of numbers has a pattern;  “5 7 3 1 2 4 7 8 4 2 5 6 7 8 6 4 3 5 7…”, yes, if I punch out numbers long enough I am sure a motif will repeat itself at some point and a pattern will emerge.

Others will claim that free verse still has to be “poetic” or “express an emotion”. To this I say, “poetic” doesn’t mean anything. Or rather still, what “poetic” means to an individual refers to what they; according to their specific tastes and literature history; have found other poets doing. In other words, that’s just like, your opinion, man. “Poetic” is extremely subjective and any instance to justify it as a standard leads to even more elitism where you have to select a few poets (typically those who are more published; because somehow that still matters in the age of youtube) by which to judge against for what an ideal form of poetry is. “Expresses an emotion”, this is true for any writing pretty much. If you write prose without any emotion going on then what is the point; why tell a story with no emotion? Emotionality is not unique to poetry so its ability to be a standard by which poetry is ranked is dubious at best. Free Verse could be excellent prose, but it still won’t be poetry because of its emotionality.

Yet others will say that poetry (and by extension free verse) has to be eloquent; that is, express a lot with as few words as possible. Not minimalistic per se; but text without redundancy. To this I say yes; and so does every. other. writing. Except an EULA. Prose, technical writing, research papers; what ever, they all need to be cleaned up of redundancy. This is what “good writing” is, no matter what field you are in (unless you are a lawyer). Prose, or “prosey” by the way, has become a euphemism for “writing with a lot of redundancy”, I find this reaction to be interesting and telling of the views on modern writing. As if it was okay to be redundant in prose. (Some professor out there is probably an advocate for that too, I am sure)

Free Verse as a form of writing is fine, as poetry it is not. The fact that you can take a free verse poem and erase the line breaks and it becomes indistinguishable from prose to all but that select few elite (just poets in the 20th and 21st centuries) should be enough. Poets have become bad writers and so they have adopted an obscure; yet feigned popular (only poets buy modern poetry books; so sales mean jack (and publishing means jack too, for that matter)) form of “poetry” that they can show and celebrate to each other at the exclusion of everyone else because they know they will be judged poorly and that destroys their personal conceptions of greatness; their delusions of grandeur. Poetry professors are english majors who need a job; it pays (literally) to write free verse which no one understands and then proclaim it is deep and thought provoking while hiding behind a piece of paper that grants you the status of “he who can understand poetry”; if they tried to write something everyone could judge then they wouldn’t have a job.

This begs the question; what is good poetry? For that you will have to wait until I write about it.

(1) This is a decent article that explains microaggressions and victim culture; a lot of what is mentioned can help understand many trends in society; trends in art being no exception. Of course free verse has been around longer; but the hows and whys of its inception are not the hows and whys of its current state. http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/

(The text editing on wordpress is absolutely terrible, I cannot get rid of double spaces no matter what I do. If I shift enter then it leaves no space at all)

I didn’t forget..

I did not forget about this blog; however I am just finishing up my degree and will be done in a week or two. I am also working on constructing my own language called Manava (grammar and vocabulary ; both are very much a work in progress.) To not leave people with nothing to read (because I just happen to have sooo ! many followers), I present you with another poem!

Crocodile

He is a grievous golden crocodile;

And his seduction of himself is known.

Beware the scales that split and stir the Nile.

How he bathes himself with skill and guile;

How it betrays his callous nature known.

He is a grievous golden crocodile.

He is a lazy beast that’s still and wile;

With his hiss low toned as a warning known.

Beware the scales that split and stir the Nile.

He is a happy fellow with that smile;

Where his serrated blades are always shown.

He is a grievous golden crocodile.

Little fishy swim, hide yourself awhile.

Skulking by, the ‘dile wants not to be shown.

Beware the scales that split and stir the Nile.

Snap! Little fishy fated to join bile.

Inside the belly is a horror shown.

He is a grievous golden crocodile.

Beware the scales that split and stir the Nile.

Ghazal Time #1; “One Day”

 

One day spent in her sight; a genuine delight.

That night’s activity; my dear sanguine delight.

Rapt by those ebon locks; as I rouse from the sight.

Enshrined by golden bows; a celandine delight.

Each thread is poised to frame; each little curl done right.

My heart has fallen through; a realigned delight.

Her ever present gaze; I am her acolyte.

A charm to me unveiled; a serpentine delight.

Engulfed by love’s expanse; I flutter in the night.

Towards those onyx eyes; a saccharine delight.

I am tranquility; blessed by her lunar light.

I marvel at its gleam; a crystalline delight.

I am attenuate; struck by her form and might.

Saleem has spent one day; a genuine delight.

So, this isn’t exactly my first ghazal, I have written a few before this one that were not as complete. I spent maybe 10-12 hours on this one over the course of about a week. There is not much to say about it honestly that is not apparent. The choice of the word delight was kind of tough to make. I had several iterations of this poem with other refrains that were just not working out as well. This poem has broken a rule and added one that the form doesn’t normally have to compensate.  Ghazal poems are meant to have a strict meter which this poem doesn’t really have. Though the syllable count is strict. To compensate for that I opted to rhyme every line ending. In normal Ghazals one does not rhyme the end of the first line in each couplet with the second.

English is such a rough language though, that poems like these with strict meter and rhyming tend to be much more difficult than they should; than they are in their native languages (Arabic and Urdu in this case). Perhaps this contributes to the disdain for proper poetry in America by academics and poets alike.

Hello!

This is going to be the storage space for all of my random facebook and IG postings. Though, in an edited and more structured format. There will be strange posts here, there will be random poetry, there will be commentary on art, poetry, society, and religion. There will be things some will deem as offensive; you have been warned. There will be the random musings of a white American male who converted to Islam around the 2005ish mark. There will be the random musings from someone with a degree in sociology and an eventual degree in linguistics. There will be the random musings from a guy who believes words are magic, that gems have power, and that there is a such thing as the metaphsyical world. There will be all of that and more; at random intervals. Feel free to look around once I actually get some content on here. If you post crap comments on anything I reserve the right to delete your mess without explanation. Oh yeah, and don’t forget – she is watching you.