Ayola A Constructed Language Linking the Global Community
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


A Note from the Translator

This project puts the artistic capabilities of Ayola to the test. The poetry of the Modernist period, during which T.S. Eliot penned “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” used language in such a way that allowed for a multiplicity of interpretations. As ambiguity is something we in the ARG have striven to avoid, interpretations of Modernist poetry can lead to a number of different translations into Ayola. Below is my own interpretation and translation of T.S. Eliot’s famous poem, but I am interested in reading others. Please enjoy my version of the poem and feel free to comment with questions or translations of your own!




The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock



S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.


  1. Let us go then, you and I,
  2. When the evening is spread out against the sky
  3. Like a patient etherized upon a table;
  4. Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
  5. The muttering retreats
  6. Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
  7. And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
  8. Streets that follow like a tedious argument
  9. Of insidious intent
  10. To lead you to an overwhelming question …
  11. Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
  12. Let us go and make our visit.
  1. In the room the women come and go
  2. Talking of Michelangelo.
  1. The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
  2. The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
  3. Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
  4. Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
  5. Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
  6. Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
  7. And seeing that it was a soft October night,
  8. Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
  1. And indeed there will be time
  2. For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
  3. Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
  4. There will be time, there will be time
  5. To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
  6. There will be time to murder and create,
  7. And time for all the works and days of hands
  8. That lift and drop a question on your plate;
  9. Time for you and time for me,
  10. And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
  11. And for a hundred visions and revisions,
  12. Before the taking of a toast and tea.
  1. In the room the women come and go
  2. Talking of Michelangelo.
  1. And indeed there will be time
  2. To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
  3. Time to turn back and descend the stair,
  4. With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
  5. (They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
  6. My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
  7. My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
  8. (They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
  9. Do I dare
  10. Disturb the universe?
  11. In a minute there is time
  12. For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
  1. For I have known them all already, known them all:
  2. Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
  3. I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
  4. I know the voices dying with a dying fall
  5. Beneath the music from a farther room.
  6. So how should I presume?
  1. And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
  2. The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
  3. And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
  4. When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
  5. Then how should I begin
  6. To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
  7. And how should I presume?
  1. And I have known the arms already, known them all—
  2. Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
  3. (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
  4. Is it perfume from a dress
  5. That makes me so digress?
  6. Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
  7. And should I then presume?
  8. And how should I begin?

* * * *

  1. Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
  2. And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
  3. Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? …
  1. I should have been a pair of ragged claws
  2. Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

* * * *

  1. And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
  2. Smoothed by long fingers,
  3. Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
  4. Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
  5. Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
  6. Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
  7. But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
  8. Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
  9. I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
  10. I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
  11. And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
  12. And in short, I was afraid.
  1. And would it have been worth it, after all,
  2. After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
  3. Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
  4. Would it have been worth while,
  5. To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
  6. To have squeezed the universe into a ball
  7. To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
  8. To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
  9. Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
  10. If one, settling a pillow by her head,
  11. Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  12. That is not it, at all.”
  1. And would it have been worth it, after all,
  2. Would it have been worth while,
  3. After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
  4. After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
  5. And this, and so much more?—
  6. It is impossible to say just what I mean!
  7. But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
  8. Would it have been worth while
  9. If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
  10. And turning toward the window, should say:
  11. “That is not it at all,
  12. That is not what I meant, at all.”

* * * *

  1. No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
  2. Am an attendant lord, one that will do
  3. To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
  4. Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
  5. Deferential, glad to be of use,
  6. Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
  7. Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
  8. At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
  9. Almost, at times, the Fool.
  1. I grow old … I grow old …
  2. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
  1. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
  2. I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
  3. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
  1. I do not think that they will sing to me.
  1. I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
  2. Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
  3. When the wind blows the water white and black.
  1. We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
  2. By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
  3. Till human voices wake us, and we drown.



Ayola Translation

La Ametsway Consono ja J. Alfred Prufrok jbyu T.S. Eliot

Translation by Sally Berger



S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.


  1. Zay moy ganaw, vu cke myo,
  2. Anke la vespero nispredyats awnu la tcielo,
  3. Licu patiento gieteraza onu tablo;
  4. Zay may ganaw, durku la halfe gidezera stradoy,
  5. La mutra retretisoy
  6. Jwe nevrepoza naktoy jenu unnakta tcepu hoteloy
  7. Ce zagepolvway restorantoy[1] javu ostreay konkeoy:
  8. Stradoy kyo swivats licu tedwa argumajo
  9. Jwe insidiosa intendajo[2]
  10. Jwi[3] dutcare vu alu soprafa kwestiono…
  11. Ow, no kwayraw “Hwo estats dwa?”
  12. Zay moy ganaw ce faraw moyza vizitajo.
  1. Enu la cambro la femoy venats ce ganats,
  2. Cke vonu Mikelandjelo naparlats[4].
  1. La flava neblo kyo frotats la dorso cwa la fenestray vidroy,
  2. La flava fumo kyo frotats la muzlo cwa la fenestray vidroy
  3. Lizits medu la lango aynu la eckoy je la vespero,
  4. Lengrits onu la kolujoy kyo statcats enu drenloy,
  5. Kadlits awnu la dorso la sadzo kyo kadyats delu skorstenoy,
  6. Slipyats forbayu teraso, farits subita saltajo,
  7. Ce kawske dwa estits sanfta oktobray nakto,
  8. Cirkelyits atcirku la hawso cpe dormyits.
  1. Ice certe dze estuts tempo
  2. Cfuru la flava fumo kyo slidyats lornu la strado
  3. Ce frotats la dorso cwa la fenestray vidroy;
  4. Dze estuts tempo, dze estuts tempo
  5. Cfuru preparware litso cwa kendyare la litsoy kyo vu enkontrats;
  6. Dze estuts tempo cfuru murdare ce kreyare
  7. Ce tempo cfuru caka la pracuroy ji ce djurnoy jwe handoy[5]
  8. Kyo liftats ce kadlats kwestiono awnu vuza pyato;
  9. Tempo cfuru vu ce tempo cfuru myo,
  10. Ce tempo cfuru tcena nondecidajoy,
  11. Ce cfuru tcena vidajoy ce revizajoy,
  12. Anteyu la edajo jwi gitosto ce teho.
  1. Enu la cambro la femoy venats ce ganats
  2. Cke vonu Mikelandjelo naparlats.
  1. Ice certe dze estuts tempo
  2. Cfuru ponderare “Ye myo durvats?” ce “Ye myo durvats?”
  3. Tempo cfuru resganare ce decendare la sterpomo,
  4. Avu kalva arelo enu la mezo je myoza haro—
  5. (Dyay dicuts: “Swe sparsa naestyats dyaza haro!”)
  6. Myoza matinay palto, myoza krago namawntats firme alu la mentono,
  7. Myoza kravato estats rica ce modesta coe geasera jbyu simpla cpilko—
  8. (Dyay dicuts: “Icoe swe minsa estats dyaza bratcoy ce gamboy!”)
  9. Ye myo durvats
  10. Disturbare la universo?
  11. Anu minuto dze estats tempo
  12. Cfuru decidajoy ce revizajoy kyo minuto reverswuts.
  1. Myo nikendats caka dyay deje, nikendats caka dyay—
  2. Nikendats[6] la vesperoy, matinoy, pomridjoy,
  3. Myo nimezrats myoza vivajo medu kafway spunoy[7];
  4. Myo kendats la votcoy namortya avu mortya kadyajo.
  5. Onderu la muziko jdelu pluse dista cambro.
  6. Icu hye myo suldats presumare?
  1. Ice myo nikendats la okoy deje, nikendats caka dyay—
  2. La okoy kyo fiksats vu enu giformulra frazo,
  3. Ce, anke myo giformurats, sprawlya jonu cpilko[8],
  4. Anke myo gicpilkirats ce navrigelyats onu la muro,
  5. Hye myo suldats natcware
  6. Sputare la [butt-ends] je myoza djurnoy ce medioy?
  7. Ice hye myo suldats presumare?
  1. Ice myo nikendats la bratcoy deje, nikendats caka dway—
  2. Bratcoy kyo estats avbracelata ce alba ce bera
  3. (Coe enu la lampay lumo, gikovra jbyu hela bruna haro!)
  4. Ye dwa estats perfumo je jurko
  5. Kyo kawsats ke myo tatye digredats?
  6. Bratcoy kyo laygats lornu la tablo, caw tcirkats calo.
  7. Icu ye myo suldats presumare?
  8. Ice hye myo suldats natcware?

* * * *

  1. Ye myo suldats dicare ke myo niganats atu zmyecko lornu nutca stradoy
  2. Cke niaspicats la fumo kyo elevyats delu la pipoy
  3. Ja akela avkamiza viroy[9] inklina jayfu fenestroy[10]?…
  1. Myo suldits estare payro jwe aspera klawoy
  2. Skudela jatravu la gulvoy je silenta maroy.

* * * *

  1. Ice la pomridjo, la vespero, dormats swe pace!
  2. Giglatwa jbyu longa fingroy,
  3. Dorma…stanka…caw dwa malingrats,
  4. Nistretcya jonu la gulvo, hire cpudu vu cke myo.
  5. Ye myo suldats, postu teho ce keykoy ce pestrioy,
  6. Havare la fortetso furu dwingare la momento alu dwaza krizo?
  7. Trotske myo niplorats ce nifastats, niplorats ce nipregats,
  8. Trotske myo nividats myoza glavo, poke nikalvya[11], giaynaporta jonu aponajay pyato,
  9. Myo no estats profeto—tiso no mutce komptats;
  10. Myo nividats ke la momento jwe myoza greytetso niflikrats,
  11. Ce myo nividats La Eterna Servo akew tenare myoza palto ce snihotare,
  12. Ce brife, myo timits.
  1. Ice ye dza wa estits vurta, postu cakwo,
  2. Postu la tasoy, la marmelado, la teho,
  3. Parmu la porcelanoy, parmu sama geparloy jvonu vu cke myo,
  4. Ye dza wa estits vurta,
  5. Niayfmordare la kompto avu smilajo,
  6. Nisprimare la universo ayu balo
  7. Rulware dwa tworu soprafa kwestiono,
  8. Dicare: “Myo estats Lazarus, nivena jdeyu la morto,
  9. Niresvena cfuru telhare aru voy, myo telhuts aru voy”—
  10. Ci dya, pona jwi pilvo pudu dyaza glavo,
  11. Wa dicats: “Tato nulwe estats kiwo myo bedolats:
  12. Tato nulwe estats dwa.”
  1. Ice ye dza wa estits vurta, postu cakwo,
  2. Ye dza wa estits vurta
  3. Postu la sunay pwestajoy ce la gardo ce gispargwa stradoy,
  4. Postu la romanzoy, postu la tehway tasoy,
  5. Postu la jupoy kyo traskinyats lornu la gulvo—
  6. Ce tiso, ce swe mutce pluse mutca?—
  7. Dza estats nonposibila dicare egzakte kiwo myo bedolats!
  8. Coe licke magica lanterno djektits la nervoy jenu patranoy awnu ekrano:
  9. Ye dza wa estits vurta
  10. Ci tyo, ajustwa jwi pilvo caw ayfdjekta jwi calo,
  11. Ce turnya tworu la fenestro, wa dicats:
  12. “Tato nulwe estats dwa,
  13. Tato nulwe estats kiwo myo bedolits.”

* * * *

  1. Now!  Myo no estats Prinson Hamlet, noy geintendits estare;
  2. Estats atenda lordo, iyo kyo tawgats
  3. Ekspandware progredajo, natcware skeno caw dusa iyoy,
  4. Konselare la prinso; nonduba, facila tulo,
  5. Deferenta, felitca jvonu estare utila,
  6. Politica, kawta, ce metikulosa;
  7. Plena jwi lofta parlajo, coe poke otusa
  8. Samwande nirmwene ridikulodna—
  9. Nirmwene samwande La Stulto.
  1. Myo vyelyats…myo vyelyats…
  2. Myo trazuts la bazoy je myoza pantso avew rulonoy.
  1. Ye myo pecinkazuts la haro prape?  Ye myo durvats mandjare pyecko?
  2. Myo trazuts alba flanela pantso, ce valkuts onu la pladjo.
  3. Myo niawduts la niksoy akew cantare cakyo aru cakyo.
  1. Myo no pensats ke dyay cantuts aru myo.
  1. Myo nividats dyay akew raydare tworu la maro onu la ondoy
  2. Kombirare la alba haro je la giresblovwa ondoy
  3. Anke la vento blovwats, albwats ce nigruwats la vodo[12].
  1. Moy nilengrats enu la cambroy je la maro
  2. Pudu maray femoy gikransaza jveku ruja ce bruna laminarialoy
  3. Tilke humanay votcoy vakwats moy ce moy drawnyats.



[1] zagepolvway restorantoy (sawdust restaurants) is a noun phrase using the complex relational adjective zagepolvway (sawdust = dust of a saw) which modifies restorantoy (restaurants) so that the entire phrase means ‘restaurants of (containing) sawdust.’
[2] argumajo…intendajo (argument…intent) rhymes in Ayola because all event abstraction nouns use the –aj- suffix.  The fact that the equivalent words in English also rhyme is unusual.
[3] jwi (of (as object)) links intendajo (intent) with its object dutcare (to lead).  The link jwi is obligatory in Ayola but has no English equivalent in this context.
[4] Enu…naparlats. (In…are talking) In this stanza, the translator has chosen to alter the syntax of the sentence in order to achieve a rhyme that was present in this position in the original English text and maintain the intended meaning.
[5] la pracuroy…handoy (the works…hands) is a noun phrase which uses two different links ji (of (as agent)) and jwe (of (as contents)) to link the two nouns pracuroy and djurnoy to the noun handoy.  An exact English translation of the full Ayola phrase would be ‘the works of and days of hands’ in which the two ‘of’s have the two different meanings specified above.
[6] nikendats (have known) is repeated twice with an implied subject.  Implied subjects are allowed in Ayola just as it is in English in order to achieve brevity.
[7] kafway spunoy (coffee spoons) is a noun phrase using the relational adjective kafway which modifies the noun spunoy (spoons) so that the entire phrase means ‘spoons of (containing) coffee.’
[8] sprawlya jonu cpilko (sprawling on a pin) is an adjective phrase using the link jonu derived from the preposition onu (on).  Adjective phrases must use links instead of prepositions.  Unlike prepositions, links have a fixed position after the adjective and are not free to move in the sentence.
[9] Ja akela avkamiza viroy (Of lonely shirted men) is a link phrase which translates the English prepositional phrase ‘Of lonely men in shirtsleeves.’
[10] inklina jayfu fenestroy (leaning out of windows) is an adjective phrase using the link jayfu derived from the preposition ayfu (out of).
[11] poke nikalvya  (having become a bit bald) is an adjective phrase which translates the English adjective phrase ‘grown slightly bald.’  The adjective nikalvya is the perfective participle of the verb kalvyare  (to become bald) derived from the adjective kalva (bald).
[12] Anke…vodo. (When the wind blows, whitens and blackens the water.) is the Ayola translation of the English clause ‘When the wind blows the water white and black.’  It makes use of three causative verbs: blovware (to blow (vt)), albware (to whiten), and nigruware (to blacken).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *