Basho poems
April 23, 2020 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Basho poems
Each day, I post a Basho poem. These are my own translations.

Although Basho mostly keeps to the haiku form (5-7-5) I haven't kept that restriction. Some translations follow that form when possible. I do keep it to three lines and keep the rhythm haiku-like (short, long, short) with the 1st and 3rd often the same length. For each translation the goal is to find a balance. Translation, especially with poetry, is often seen as an impossible task. That is the case here. In that sense, these texts are not Basho but inspired by him.
The source is various Japanese sites but primarily this one: http://www2.yamanashi-ken.ac.jp/~itoyo/basho/
There are a number of Basho translations out there. Some are very literal while others are more daring. I admire the translations of Lucien Stryk.
Role: Translator
posted by vacapinta (2 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Instant follow.
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:17 PM on April 23


I love this one:

nobody sees Spring
a plum blossom drawn on the back
of a hand-mirror


Thank you!
posted by amtho at 7:26 PM on April 23


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