Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Basho: "Frost-withered, ~ Melancholy bloom: ~ A flowery field"

My Translation

Frost-withered,
Melancholy bloom:
A flowery field

Original Japanese

霜枯れに咲くは辛気の花野哉

Pronunciation

Shimo-gare ni
Saku wa shinki no
Hana no kana

Literal

Frost withered/die in/at
Bloom melancholy/fretful/mood’s
Flower field how/alas!

“Shinki no hana” = “depressed flowers” is taken from a song with the line “the depressed flowers bloom every night.”

Basho: "What a mix of hail and snow: ~ A summer kimono's ~ fine design"

My Translation

What a mix of hail and snow:
A summer kimono’s
Fine design

Original Japanese

霰まじる帷子雪は小紋かな

Pronunciation

Arare majiru
Katabira-yuki wa
Komon kana

Literal

Hail mixed with
Summer kimono snow* as for
Fine pattern how!

“Katabira-yuki” is the large, flat snow often seen on the patterns of light, summer kimonos (called yukatas). He is saying the mix of hail and snow he sees in reality looks like a kimono pattern. He is also contrasting summer dress with a winter storm.

From Hyakunin Isshu, "When looking at the moon"

My Translation

By Oe no Chisato

When looking at the moon
A thousand things
Become sadness—
My autumn alone,
Though it is not.

Original Japanese

大江千里

月見れば
千々に物こそ
悲しけれ
わが身ひとつの
秋にはあらねど

Pronunciation

Oe no Chisato

Tsuki mireba
Chiji ni mono koso
Kanashi kere
Waga mi hitotsu no
Aki ni wa aranedo

Literal

Oe no Chisato

Moon see if/when
Thousands into things certainly/[emphasis]
Sad/sorrow become
My self one/even/only’s
Autumn as for although it is not

Li Bai's "Under the Moon, Drinking Alone"

My Translation



By Li Bai (701-762 AD)
李白
Under the Moon, Drinking Alone
月下獨酌


Among the flowers,
a jug of wine

花間
一壺酒
Drinking alone,
with no one
close

獨酌
相親
Raising a glass,
inviting
the shining moon

舉杯
明月
My shadow facing
makes
the three of us

對影
三人
Still the moon
cannot
comprehend drinking

月既
解飲
And only a shadow
follows
my body

影徒
我身
Fleeting companions:
I take the shadow
and moon

暫伴
將影
Having fun,
we must
strive for spring

行樂
及春
I sing,
the moon
lingers

我歌
徘徊
I dance,
my shadow
twirls

我舞
零亂
In sober times
together we're
having fun

醒時
交歡
After we’re drunk
we part our ways

醉後
分散
Always connected,
no concerns,
we wander and roam

永結
無情
Of our time together,
speaks only the distant clouds
相期
邈雲漢

Original Chinese

Traditional
Simplified
Pronunciation



李白
李白
Li bái
月下獨酌
月下独酌
Yuè xià dú zhuó



花間一壺酒,
Huā jiān -- yī hú jiǔ,
獨酌無相親;
独酌无相
Dú zhuó -- wū xiāng qīn;
舉杯邀明月,
杯邀明月,
Jǔ bēi -- yāo míng yuè,
對影成三人。
影成人。
Duì yǐng -- chéng sān rén.
月既不解飲,
月既不解
Yuè jì -- bù jiě yǐn,
影徒隨我身;
影徒随我身;
Yǐng tú -- suí wǒ shēn;
暫伴月將影,
伴月将影,
Zàn bàn -- yuè jiāng yǐng,
行樂須及春。
乐须及春。
Xíng lè -- xū jí chūn.
我歌月徘徊,
我歌月徘徊,
Wǒ gē -- yuè páihuái,
我舞影零亂;
我舞影零乱;
Wǒ wǔ -- yǐng língluàn;
醒時同交歡,
同交
Xǐng shí -- tóng jiāo huān,
醉後各分散。
醉後各分散。
Zuì hòu -- gè fēnsàn.
永結無情遊,
无情遊,
Yǒng jié -- wúqíng yóu,
相期邈雲漢。
相期邈云
Xiāng qī -- miǎo yúnhàn.

Literal

Plum White (Li Bai 701-762 AD)
Moon Under Alone Drink

1. Flowers among alone jug wine
2. Alone drink-wine no other person/relation; [other relation = deeply attached]
3. Raise glass welcome bright moon, [raise glass = toast]
4. Opposing/facing shadow makes/becomes three people.
5. Moon then/since doesn’t understand drink,
6. Shadow disciple follows my body;
7. Temporary partner/companion moon takes/shall-be shadow,
8. Walk/travel happy must reach spring.
9. I sing moon waits lingers,
10. I dance shadow fragment confusion [fragment confusion = disorder/twirls];
11. Sober/wake-up season/periods together mix happy, [mix happy = good relations, making love]
12. Drunk after each divide scatter/disperse.
13. Forever/always connect/bound not feeling wander/roam,
14. Each-other time-period distant/remote says/cloud man(kind)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Translated: Basho's "Withered and bending"

Withered and bending,
Dejected world upside-down—
Bamboo of the snow

萎れ伏すや世はさかさまの雪の竹

Shiore-fusu ya
Yo wa saka-sama no
Yuki no take

Literal
[Withered/droop/dejected] [bend/bow/hide]
[World/age/society] [inverted/upside-down]
Snow’s bamboo

Probably based on a story of a mother who finds her son buried, frozen in the snow under the bamboo; a son dying before the mother is upside-down. The story was called “take no yuki,” meaning “snow of the bamboo,” while this haiku ends in reverse: “yuki no take,” meaning “bamboo of the snow.”

Translated: Basho's "A Wintry Shower ~ while the frustrated pines ~ wait for snow"

A wintry shower—
While the frustrated pines
Wait for snow

時雨をやもどかしがりて松の雪

Shigure wo ya
Modokashi-gari te
Matsu no yuki

Literal & Notes
Wintry shower
Frustrated
Pine’s snow

“Pine” is a symbol of waiting as it has the same pronunciation as “waiting.” Wintry showers change the color of all trees’ leaves except evergreens, so they are jealous and waiting for their beautiful winter snow coat.

Charles Bukowski reads his poem, "The Strongest of the Strange"


you won’t see them often
for wherever the crowd is
they
are not.
those odd ones, not
many
but from them
come
the few
good paintings
the few
good symphonies
the few
good books
and other
works.
and from the
best of the
strange ones
perhaps
nothing.
they are
their own
paintings
their own
books
their own
music
their own
work.
sometimes I think
I see
them – say
a certain old
man
sitting on a
certain bench
in a certain
way
or
a quick face
going the other
way
in a passing
automobile
or
there’s a certain motion
of the hands
of a bag-boy or a bag-
girl
while packing
supermarket
groceries.
sometimes
it is even somebody
you have been
living with
for some
time -
you will notice
a
lightning quick
glance
never seen
from them
before.
sometimes
you will only note
their
existance
suddenly
in
vivid
recall
some months
some years
after they are
gone.
I remember
such a
one -
he was about
20 years old
drunk at
10 a.m.
staring into
a cracked
New Orleans
mirror
facing dreaming
against the
walls of
the world
where
did I
go?

William Butler Yeats reads his poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Translated from Hyakunin Isshu #22: "Temper makes a tempest"

My Translation

By Fun'ya no Yasuhide

The blowing wind
Uproots and snaps
The autumn grass and trees—
It’s fitting then that “temper”
Makes a “tempest,” so they say.

Original Japanese

文屋康秀

吹くからに
秋の草木の
しをるれば
むべ山風を
あらしといふらむ

Japanese Pronunciation

Fun'ya no Yasuhide

Fuku kara ni
Aki no kusaki no
Shiorureba
Mube yama kaze o
Arashi to iuran

Literal

Blow from as
Autumn’s grass tree’s [=plants, vegetation]
[see as/ death/ branches] [break / snap off] when
Fitting mountain wind is
[storm/ destruction/ lay waste] so called  

Note: This poem puns on the fact that the character for “storm” () is composed of a mountain () on top of wind () and is also pronounced almost the same as destruction (arasu). Thus it is literally saying that it is fitting that “mountain” + “wind” = “storm” = “destruction.”

Li Bai's "Going Down Zhongnan Mountain"

This poem talks about Li Bai spending time with his friend, Husi, who lives in the mountains away from civilization.

Translation

By Li Bai
李白


Going Down Zhongnan Mountain,
passing time with the hermit, Husi:
a resting place and wine
下終南山
過斛斯山人
宿置酒


Sunset shades
the mountain green:
we’re going down
暮從
碧山


Mountain and moon
following the men returning
山月
人歸
Yet, looking back
on the place from where we came:
a narrow path
卻顧
所來


Ash gray
across the green:
the dim light
蒼蒼
橫翠


Hand-in-hand
arriving
at the farmhouse
相攜
田家


A young boy
opens
a twig gate
童稚
荊扉


Green bamboo:
entering
a secluded path
綠竹
幽徑


Green bramble:
shaking off
the moving clothes
青蘿
行衣


Enjoy a talk,
finding a place
and resting
歡言
得所


Pleasing wine
chatting together
drinking
美酒
聊共


Long songs
and singing
Pine Tree Wind
長歌
松風


The tune is finished,
and the river of stars:
becoming scarce
曲盡
河星


I am drunk
with you:
and cheerful again
我醉
復樂


So pleased
forgetting completely
my daily struggles
陶然
共忘

Original Chinese

Traditional
Simplified
Pronunciation
李白
李白
Lǐ Bái
下終南山
過斛斯山人
宿置酒
下终南山
过斛斯山人
宿置酒
Xià zhōng nán shān
guò hú sī shān rén
sù zhì jiǔ.



暮從碧山下,
暮从碧山下,
Mù cóng bì shān xià,
山月隨人歸;
山月随人归;
Shān yuè suí rén guī;
卻顧所來徑,
却顾所来径,
Què gù suǒ lái jìng,
蒼蒼橫翠微。
苍苍横翠微。
Cāng cāng héng cuì wēi.
相攜及田家,
相携及田家,
Xiāng xié jí tián jiā,
童稚開荊扉;
童稚开荆扉;
Tóng zhì kāi jīng fēi;
綠竹入幽徑,
绿竹入幽径,
Lǜ zhú rù yōu jìng,
青蘿拂行衣。
青萝拂行衣。
Qīng luó fú xíng yī.
歡言得所憩,
欢言得所憩,
Huān yán de suǒ qì,
美酒聊共揮;
美酒聊共挥;
Měi jiǔ liáo gòng huī;
長歌吟松風,
长歌吟松风,
Cháng gē yín sōng fēng,
曲盡河星稀。
曲尽河星稀。
jìn hé xīng xī.
我醉君復樂,
我醉君复乐,
Wǒ zuì jūn fù lè,
陶然共忘機。
陶然共忘机。
Táo rán gòng wàng jī.

Literal Translation

李白
Plum White [Li Bai (701-762)]
下終南山
過斛斯山人
宿置酒
Down Final South Mountain Pass 50-Liters Thus Mountain Man Rest Place Wine
[Final South Mountain = Zhongnan Mountain; 50-Liters Thus = Husi]


暮從碧山下,
Sunset from jade mountain down,
山月隨人歸;
Mountain moon follow man go-back;
卻顧所來徑,
However look-back place from path,
蒼蒼橫翠微。
Blue green across green profound.
相攜及田家,
Mutual hand-take reach farm house,
童稚開荊扉;
Boy young open twig gate;
綠竹入幽徑,
Green bamboo enter secluded path,
青蘿拂行衣。
Blue-green bush brush walk clothes.
歡言得所憩,
Enjoy talk obtain place rest,
美酒聊共揮;
Pleasing wine chat together wave;
長歌吟松風,
Long song sing pine-tree wind,
曲盡河星稀。
Tune finished river stars scarce.
我醉君復樂,
I drunk gentleman return cheerful,
陶然共忘機。
Pleased thus altogether forget struggles.