The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Monday, July 25, 2005

Basho's Frog once again.


ふる いけ や
かわず とびこむ
みず の おと

Furu ike ya
Kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

Old pond
frog jumped in
sound of water.

Matsuo Basho's haiku about the frog jumping into the pond is probably the most famous haiku in the world. These 17 syllables so well capture a moment. It's everything a haiku should be, and I find myself coming back to it over and over again.

If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to a page which contains 30 different translations of this famous haiku, as well as commentary by Robert Aitken, a zen priest.

I think studying these translations themselves are fascinating. 17 syllables and the translations cover such a range.

A perfect study for a summer evening.

Bassho's frog went plop!
and never heard from again.

A snapping turtle.

1 comment:

ms_lili said...

an alternate 3rd line:

swam to bermuda