Thursday, April 10, 2008

Poetry Isn't Hard . . .

Do you like Haiku?

It is relaxing to write.

Please write one for me.


It’s almost that simple.

Technically, a haiku should have a suggestion of nature, and perhaps a reference to the season in which it was written, but those constricts have mostly been done away with in English versions.

The acknowledged master of traditional Japanese haiku was Basho. National Geographic Magazine did an excellent article on his life and his Journeys which I would direct you to read, rather than trying to do it justice on this page. When I read the article, I was struck by how serene his life and his work seemed. I have since read as many of his poems as I can, but I can’t help but think that I will never appreciate his mastery without learning his language. As that seems unlikely at this point, translations will have to do.

Translating Poetry must be among the most difficult of tasks. For what is poetry, if not meter, and rhythm, and sometimes rhyme? To get the essence, the feeling of the original into another language must take the utmost skill, and mostly I think - the passion for the art and the language.

To understand the difficulty, go to this page. There is an original Haiku by Basho, and 30, that’s right 30 different translations. Which one is the most accurate? I know which one I like best. How about you? I Like this one:

The old pond is still
a frog leaps right into it
splashing the water

Perhaps I like that one best because in my mind, the 5-7-5 must hold, but it just seems to capture the feeling right. Who knows?

I have recently been reading a new translation of Beowulf, and it is such a beautiful poem. Not at all the way I remember reading it before.

So, back to my little Haiku at the top:

Do you like Haiku?

It is relaxing to write.

Please write one for me.

Please, today, include a haiku in your comments. If possible, make it about this blog in some way. It doesn’t matter how. It could be about a particular post, about me, about a commenter, about our little community here in this corner of the tubes. It can be about one of the pictures to the right. Just 5-7-5, that’s all.

Have a great day!


Camera Obscura said...

A dad on the coast
Engineering for fuck-wits.
Which way to the beach?

Brave Sir Robin said...

Excellent effort Camera!!!!!

I love it.

GourmetGoddess said...

Today, more showers.
Tomorrow, rain yet again.
This rain drowns flowers.

There, a rhyming haiku...

Bitty said...

Ooh! A challenge! Which I will take up when I have two minutes to bang together.

Bitty said...

Three haiku for you, because I couldn't decide on punctuation:

Spring Haiku 1:

Spring brings a soft breeze
A backyard of red flowers
Yard work, endless, joy.

Spring Haiku 2:

Spring brings a soft breeze
A backyard of red flowers
Yard work, endless. Joy.

Spring Haiku 3:

Spring brings a soft breeze
A backyard of red flowers
Yard work. Endless joy.

I'll get to the "all about you" haiku. Tomorrow, perhaps. Do you know about FIBs?

GourmetGoddess said...

Bitty is having a happy spring. Dammit.

We are having flooding from rain today. I won't even look in my basement. I am sure it is awful.

pidomon said...

i have no skills dude
but random typing may do
but who really knows

(do I pass? I suck at this)

Brave Sir Robin said...

Great Job Pido!!!!

Bitty - FIB's?

btw -

I like #3

Heather, sorry about the rain. It is gross humid and hot here.

Bitty said...

BSR, re: fibs. I linked to an old post of mine in the comments and then in my post is a link to an explanation. But when I have time, today or tomorrow, I'll do a fresh post on fibs and write a few. Or one. They also call for a very strict number of syllables in each line.

Gourmet Goddess: I almost feel guilty, but not quite. I'll suffer later, in the heat of July and August, if that helps.

J. Goff said...

I found a flat rock
That was perfect for skipping,
But, alas, no creek.

Brave Sir Robin said...

J.Goff -

Very, very nice.

Anonymous said...

Brave Sir Robin rides away
coconuts ring, all in hand
so to fight again

Anonymous said...

Damn! Delete the "away" in that. I counted "Robin" as one syllable.

Bob said...

The Season is here
Rejuvenation has come
For Heart and Nature

Anonymous said...

I'm of Irish stock. Haiku doesn't come naturally to me. How about a limerick?

There once was a woman from Texas
Who thought that the internets were the bestest,
Friends and blogs, trolls and pron,
And pictures of a red-shoed Pope Festus.

t said...

do you remember
her easy breezy beauty
i miss her kisses

Brave Sir Robin said...

Excellent everyone!!!

Wasn't that fun? I hope so.

konagod said...

pidomon haiku
leaving me empty inside
must try one myself

Brave Sir Robin said...

The Kona is IN the building!!

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