japonisme: summer night-- the moon

20 June 2010

summer night-- the moon

natsu no yo ya kawabe
no tsuki mo ima mikka

summer night--
the moon by the river
just a sliver

This is an early haiku written in the 1790s. The rhyme in my translation is accidental--so I decided to allow it. The moon is a "three-day moon"...just a sliver.


Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.

Mark Twain
nese-tsukete soto e wa detari natsu no tsuki

it's bedtime
but out I go...
summer moon


Wanderer moon
smiling a
faintly ironical smile
at this
brilliant, dew-moistened
summer morning,—
a detached
sleepily indifferent
smile, a
wanderer's smile,—
if I should
buy a shirt
your color and
put on a necktie
where would they carry me?

William Carlos Williams

mijika yo ya kusa wa tsui-tsui-tsui to saku

short summer night--
the grasses bloom
swish, swish, swish!


My kind? I don’t know my kind.
I see the sunlight speaking
in the windy leaves — a clear,
cold, early summer day that says
whatever is lost will come down
the daylight to meet you.

Forget it. There’s never anyone.
And I find myself wanting
to invent a new language. My
country’s the scratch of rain on
glass, these straight miles of
crucified wire — empty as a rose.

Remember the night skies? Navy.
A silk drawn slowly from the
breast pocket for the last deep
trick of the stars: the splash,
the scraps of silver tinselling
down in the flooding white light.

Robert Dana

(all haiku by issa, translated by david g. lanou, here.)

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Blogger Yoli said...

You are such a good teacher. I learn so much everytime I come here.

20 June, 2010 19:59  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thank you my friend yoli. please tell me, what do you learn?

20 June, 2010 21:18  
Blogger Miguel Gómez Losada said...

Thanks for this blog, have a nice day -fron Spain-

05 July, 2010 18:37  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thanks for this comment, miguel. i don't know why, but your comment took a whole day to show up. i'm glad it finally did!

07 July, 2010 07:07  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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