Saturday, September 24, 2005

Making a splash

I found ran across a site tonight with 30 different translations of Basho's famous poem:

Furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

They are each enchanting in a different way, but the one I tend to like best (probably the one I read first as a student) is:

The quiet pond
A frog leaps in,
The sound of the water. (Translated by Edward Seidensticker)

He is one of the few who uses "quiet pond" instead of "old pond" -- I like this, since the word old implies quiet, and I like the contrast that this word creates.

And, here is my repsonse, what this haiku has come to mean to me - someone constantly working with developing my own artistic voice:

There is no sound
In the water
If you don't jump in

Ah, what can I say? Seidensticker rocks!

And you're so right, "quiet" is much, much better than "old."

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