Two Free-form Haiku by Serita Housha (芹田鳳車)

草に寝れば空流る雲の音きこゆ

Fall asleep in the grass
and you can hear the sound
of clouds drifting through the sky

月が夜どこかで硝子がこわれる

A moonlit night
Somewhere
glass is breaking

3 thoughts on “Two Free-form Haiku by Serita Housha (芹田鳳車)

  1. I just read a handful, and the first one here is my favorite. It’s a beautiful poem, and you translated it like a master. Was it easy?

    … It also sounds like an Eastern Youth song.

  2. It does sound a lot like Eastern Youth, doesn’t it? I remember reading an interview with Yoshino Hisashi many years ago that compared his lyrics to Buddhist poetry, so I guess it’s no surprise. Which reminds me, I should try translating more Eastern Youth songs…

    The only real difficulty with the haiku you like was the verb きこゆ, which I knew probably had something to do with 聞く. But I had to do a little research to verify that it was actually an older Japanese equivalent to 聞こえる. Once I knew that, the translation came pretty naturally. Of course, the first instinct was to write “If you sleep in the grass, then you can…” but I wanted something that sounded a little more natural. Also, I originally typed “drifting in the sky,” but before submitting, I made a last-second decision to change it to “drifting through the sky.”

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