DON’T UNDERRATE ME (translated from Lawuyi Ogunniran's MA RO MI PIN)
It is said, “what would okro do?”
Nwon ni, “Kini ila o se?”
Okro turned, it overmatured,
Ila se bee, o ko,
They said, “what would garden egg do?”
Nwon ni, “Kini ikan o se?”
Garden egg wore garment of blood,
Ikan se bee, o wewu eje,
They questioned, “what would the Elephant do?”
Nwon ni, “ki l’erin o se?”
The Elephant sang alone,
Erin se bee, o ya aso,
They enquired, “what would the Buffalo do?”
Nwon ni, “ki l’efon o se?”
The Buffalo split unripe palm fruits,
Efon se bee o y’abon
They asked, “what would the Rhinoceros do?”
Nwon ni “ki l’agbanrere o se?”
The Rhinoceros had glaring horn on the forehead,
Agbanrere se bee o la iwo l’ori sansan.
“What would that man do?”
“Kini Lamorin o se?”
A rift is at stake.
Oro ija ni mbe n’be.
Don’t assume impossibility with men.
Eda ko l’aropin.
If you underestimate a river,
Bi a ba f’oju kekere wo eri,
The river could sweep one away;
Eri a maa gbe ni lo;
If you consider a hill not tall,
Bi a ba f’oju ko ga w’oke,
The hill could become a daunting task for one,
Oke a ma aka ‘nia laiya,
If you think less about the dead,
Bi a ba f’oju ana w’oku,
A ghost would undress one,
Ebora a maa bo ni l’aso
Small trees turned into a forest,
Igi wewe se bee o d’igbo,
The climbing plant became a shade,
Itakun wewe se bee o d’odan,
The fingerling became fish that can’t be lifted alone,
Isi nana d’eja t’ako le da gbe,
The eggs turned into cockerel,
Eyin yipada o d’akuko,
The man we assumed cannot build a hut,
Eni a ro pe ko le pago,
Playfully has added a penthouse!
Bi ere, bi ere o d’alaruru!
Don’t underrate me,
Ma ro mi pin,
Man knows yesterday and today,
Eda m’ana a moni,
The creator knows tomorrow.
Eleda l’o m’ola.
Labels: Celebrating a writer, Celebrating a Yoruba writer, Poetry, Translation, Yoruba poetry