Monday, October 13, 2003

And another while. I have made progress, though, having added quite a few new words due to translating parts of my website into maltжέgj, dlatci, norðısca, latinovesa, and various other languages. Rather than embarking on a long discussion of it now, i would rather just paste it in here and refer to the updated lexicon any changes.

The above images of the ginkgo are from the 本草綱目 (Běn Cǎo Gāng Mù, Pen Ts’ao Kang Mu), or the Great Catalogue of Herbs, still used in Chinese Medicine today. Compiled by 李時珍 (Lǐ Shízhēn, Li Shih-chen) in 1578, it is among the most invaluable extant books on Chinese herbalism. The ginkgo is a remarkable tree, being in its own class of gymnosperms (Kingdom: Plantae, Division: Spermatophyta, Subdivision: Gymnospermae, Class: Ginkgoopsida, Order: Ginkgoales, Family: Ginkgoaceae, Genus: Ginkgo, Species: biloba), and is not closely related to any other plant species. It is unique among trees, being neither deciduous nor evergreen (hence Goethe’s reference in the second verse, above). It is also known in chinese as the silver apricot (銀杏, yín xìng, yin hsing).

Below is Goethe’s original manuscript of the poem above, which can be found today in the Goethe Museum in Düsseldorf, complete with the two leaves he pasted on it himself from a ginkgo tree in the garden at the castle in Heidelberg.

εc ul ac imbiláj ul gγ́nco u ul 本草綱目o, rélεb ul bórga clag ac жarc u, εc rac ðroж calc úli nad scan djungwó жtral ðrax oc. rac scrav lìжudjέn íli avíl 1578 oж, e εc paj am ac narán жal oc blai εc clag u djungwó жarc жtral ðrax έloì. εc ul gγ́nco am gráva víctro, εc calc mεs frantж i ac bwílio dat u (djεжt arán: Plantae, cεrðíð: Spermatophyta, cεrðíðilà: Gymnospermae, frantж: Ginkgoopsida, cwaðrat: Ginkgoales, mávilà: Ginkgoaceae, djip: Ginkgo, pγtá: biloba), εc blεg paj ðέfni fórwið ac pγtá íli жarc u. εc paj ac víctro u ámεst, ðrímiέm εc blεg bláca-жafát blεg gwéðul-gnir, (ðrímiέm εm guþa o ul sàpatál ul gji dai bjir e). blγnþ xányu glơd paj að ul ђέbna zaníж.

iþ εc ul urál narám nascáj guþa u ul em cveð u, rac culóm calc úli nad ul guþa nascáj arán e, εc calc dísλdorf e, dai bláca oc, dγd fástnar gúþa calc að, am gγ́nco víctro o ul gwárxo e ul bórga márga a háidλbεrg e.


Below is a painting of the ginkgo by Minneapolis-based artist Michelle Layland. More examples of her work can be found on her website at:

iþ εc am zεndj nascáj ul gγ́nco víctro u, nascáj lað mγжέl léland íli mγ́niápolγs o. patáx rac cúlεn ac εlέђam nascáj u pεl u wέbsait alx pεl u:
[Editor's Note: is no more, but Michelle's work can still be found today by visiting]