Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dan Franch & Elmedin Kadric:
Wednesday Haiku, #230

Two-faced moon,
I thought I
knew better

Dan Franch

 Photo by ardfile

the same color

Elmedin Kadric

it seems to wash
the summer mountains...
translated by David G. Lanoue

PS  Click to learn how to contribute to Wednesday Haiku 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The crane screeches, the cicada's cry: Deep Mystery in the Haiku of Bashō

Photo by Castlelass

In loving memory of the Jane Reichhold, who, among her many accomplishments, is her English language translation of 


     The crane screeches:
At its voice
     The bashō will surely tear

                         Translated by R. H. Blyth

In my morning reading (Haiku, v. 4, R. H. Blyth), I ran across the above Bashō poem which I didn't remember but which struck me immediately. It put me in mind of the more famous Bashō poem:

Sinking into the rocks,
A cicada's cry

        Translated by Makota Ueda

Some translations go so far as to say piercing the rock(s), which heightens the mystery inherent in the poem. What struck me here is the relationship between these two pieces, the first a touch more literal, the second, more famous poem, perhaps closer to the mystery.

And what of the mystery? The less said, the more realized? Perhaps the poems are each transcendent moments or, in this case, two moments sharing a certain otherness?

Thinking on these things, I took a break for breakfast, and began reading a review of a book on, believe or not, camping. In the book, as noted by the reviewer, the author made a rather a limp joke referencing one of Leonard Cohen's most famous verses:

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 

Bad joke or not, as so often happens in my morning reading, the bell rang ... again and again and again.

Leonard Cohen's "Anthem."

my cracked teacup
like Buddha on display...
plum blossoms

             trans. by David G. Lanoue


PS Click to learn how to contribute to Wednesday Haiku. Here you will find Jane Reichhold's contribution.