summer haiku d'été – frog pond = mare aux grenouilles = stagno delle rane frog pond in Amazonia – fried frog mare aux grenouilles en Amazonie – grenouille frite stagno delle rane in Amazzione – rana fritta Richard Vallance
summer haiku d’été – the old pond = le vieil étang the old pond in a drought – the sound of le vieil étang durant la sécheresse – le bruit de Richard Vallance
summer haiku... or not haiku d’été... oui ou non – Shrödinger’s frog = la grenouille de Shrödinger in the new old pond Shrödinger’s frog croaks and croaks and not dans l’étang sans âge la grenouille de Shrödinger coasse oui et non Richard Vallance Why did I repeat the word croaks in the English haiku? Think about it. I do not expect too many people to get this one, but if you do, great!
funny Japanese autumn haiku, not the frog again! – haiku rigolo japonais d’automne, pas encore la grenouille ! in the cold pond the frog croaks his last – and croaks * * The English pun cannot be replicated in French. dans l’étang froid la grenouille coasse... la fin – elle est morte * * Le jeu de mots en anglais ne se reproduit pas en français. De toute façon, ça reste comique ! Richard Vallance
Canadian variant of Basho’s Old Pond haiku the beaver pond... a frog leaps - plop! splash! To head off criticisms that I should not have said plop! and then ... splash!, think about it. When a small amphibian such as a frog leaps into water, the first sound we hear is plop!... and then splash! l’étang des castors ... la grenouille y saute - plouf ! grand plouf ! Richard Vallance You can compare this with 32 translations of the Old Pond haiku, here: http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/passages/basho-frog.htm
winter haiku d’hiver – frozen in the pond = gelée dans l’étang a ghost frog frozen in the pond mirrors the moon gelée dans l’étang une grenouille fantôme, miroir de la lune Richard Vallance
spring haiku de printemps – spring rain peeper = la rainette crucifère peeping through rain the spring rain peeper out on a limb dans la pluie la rainette crucifère figée sur une branche Richard Vallance
summer haiku d’ été – a spotted frog = une grenouille maculée a spotted frog on a lotus blossom – his perfumed world sur une fleur de lotus une grenouille maculée – son monde parfumé Richard Vallance
Canadian equivalent of Basho’s “old pond” haiku REVISED = équivalent canadien du haiku « vieil étang » de Basho RÉVISÉ beaver pond frog springs plop étang des castors la grenouille s’élance plouf Richard Vallance 3 excellent translations of the original haiku from: original haiku: furu ike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto translations: old pond frog leaping splash Cid Corman the old pond, a frog jumps in: plop! Alan Watts the old pond — a frog jumps in, sound of water. Robert Hass 2 horrible translations: A lonely pond in age-old stillness sleeps . . . Apart, unstirred by sound or motion . . . till Suddenly into it a lithe frog leaps. Chris Hidden Page The old pond, yes, and A frog-jumping-in-the- Water’s noise! G. S. Fraser from the Commentary on this page: Ya is a cutting word that separates and yet joins the expressions before and after. It is punctuation that marks a transition — a particle of anticipation. Though there is a pause in meaning at the end of the first segment, the next two segments have no pause between them. In the original, the words of the second and third parts build steadily to the final word oto. This has penetrating impact — “the frog jumps in water’s sound.” Haiku poets commonly play with their base of three parts, running the meaning past the end of one segment into the next, playing with their form, as all artists do variations on the form they are working with. Actually, the name “haiku” means “play verse.” It is highly advisable to read this entire commentary.
summer haiku d’été - common loons = plongeons huards common loons phantom howlers pierce the moon plongeons huards fantômes qui hurlent percent la lune Richard Vallance Commentary on the rhythm and format of Canadian haiku: In my view, the rhythm and assonance of haiku should be poetic, otherwise the haiku is not poetry. Moreover, the so-called 5-7-5 syllable convention = 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second and 5 syllables in the third line is not valid whatsoever, because it does not exist in Japanese. Haiku should be free form, allowing anywhere from 7 or 8 to 17 syllables. For instance, in the common loons haiku in English above, we have 3-4-3 = 10 syllables. And since the grammar and syntax of different languages is never the same, the same haiku in French runs to 4-4-3 = 11 syllables, which is scarcely surprising. All too many haijin (haiku poets) try to force their haiku into the strict framework of so-called 5-7-5, with the result that many of their haiku sound stilted and unnatural. This is especially of translations of Japanese haiku, the most famous of which is the “frog in the pond” haiku of Matsuo Basho (1644-1694). Here are 3 translations of his haiku, one bad in 5-7-5 format and 2 good ones in free format: bad translation: Pond, there, still and old! A frog has jumped from the shore. The splash can be heard. Failures in this translation: first line: insertion of the words “there” and “still” to flush out the line second line: “has jumped”, past tense & “from the shore” is not found in the original Japanese haiku at all! third line: in the passive voice Trans. Eli Siegel good translations: old pond frog leaping splash Trans. Cid Corman the old pond, a frog jumps in: plop! Trans. Alan Watts Original haiku in Japanese: Furu ike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto This looks like 5-7-5 syllables, but as you can see for yourself in the original haiku in the kanji script, there are actually only 3 kanji characters in the first line, with 5 in the second line and 3 in the third for a total of just 11. So the so-called 5-7-5 strict formula is blown out of the water!