Douze haïkus d'automne (English translation)


Douze haïkus d'automne

Peupliers à l'aube
riches fourrures vert sombre
le vent dit Septembre
Seul, dans la vallée
un feuillage éclate d'or —
touché par un doigt ?
Le bleu douloureux
des prunes éparpillées
— l'herbe verte encore
Les ombres plus longues
un accord sur le clavier
écho du passé
Rayons bas d'octobre —
des feuilles désorientées
ont perdu leurs arbres
Pomme flotte, là
où l'an dernier somnolait
un vieux poisson rouge
Au jardin d'automne
le vent quête d'arbre en arbre
chacun donne un peu
Chuinte la pluie
sur les rails et les feuillages
fuyants souvenirs
Oh ! le vent du nord !
liasses de lettres jaunies
d'un mort à un mort
Terme du voyage
au-dessus de la frontière
les corneilles crient
La couleur des feuilles
que le sol digère, est-elle
encore couleur ?
Voyageur, tu entres
au royaume du brouillard
et des apparences
Submitted by JadisJadis on Sat, 26/09/2020 - 08:54
English translationEnglish
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Twelve Autumn Haikus

Poplar trees at dawn,
rich dark green furs as the wind
tells of September
Bursting into gold
in the vale, a lone tree crown
pointed out through clouds1
Heartbreak - the blue shade
of plums scattered asunder
on the still green grass
Shadows grown longer
A chord rings on the keyboard
Echoes from the past
Low October rays -
leaves bewildered all around.
They have lost their trees2
An apple bobs there
where used to slumber last year
an ancient goldfish
An autumn garden
roamed by a mendicant wind.
Each tree gives its alms.3
A damp rain whispers
over train tracks and treetops
as memories flee
Such a wild North wind!
Yellowed letters exchanged by
two departed souls4
End of the journey.
Above the border, the cries
of circling jackdaws5
Is the colour of
leaves being eaten by earth
truly a colour?
Traveller, you now
step into the realm of fog
and appearances
  • 1. "[is it being] touched by a finger?". I tried to suggest the touch of God differently
  • 2. this one translated by [@Jadis]
  • 3. I really like this one!
  • 4. "bunches of yellowed letters / from a dead to a[nother] dead"
  • 5. technically, mere crows :)
thanked 7 times

Do whatever you want with my translations.
They no more belong to me than the air I breathe.

Submitted by silencedsilenced on Sat, 26/09/2020 - 20:20
Added in reply to request by JadisJadis
Author's comments:

Des haïkus en pluie
font surgir un arc-en-ciel
un jour de septembre

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
JadisJadis    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 20:42

Merci, beau boulot ! Certains sonnent très bien. J'avais vaguement essayé de trouver des équivalents en anglais, mais je ne maîtrise pas assez la langue pour que ça soit à la fois naturel et fidèle.
Parmi mes élucubrations (je ne sais pas trop ce que ça vaut) :

Poplar trees at dawn
rich furs on, of darkgreen leaves
wind humming September

Heartbreak - that blue shade
plums lie scattered on the ground
- the grass is still green

Low October rays -
leaves bewildered all around
they have lost their trees

(ce dernier comportait dans mon esprit un jeu de mots, normalement on dit que les arbres perdent leurs feuilles, là c'est le contraire).

J'aime bien les haikus, même si ce n'est pas un sport très facile. J'essaie de faire en sorte qu'ils soient toujours basés sur une expérience réelle, il n'y a rien d'imaginaire, juste un peu arrangé.

Pour "chuinte la pluie", peut-être "a whispering rain" ? (sans doute pas "hissing", mais "patters" me semble sonner différemment).

Enfin bref, merci encore. Il n'y a plus qu'à les traduire en russe.

silencedsilenced    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 23:13

Merci, j'apprécie vraiment ce compliment.

> wind humming September
Ca fait encore 6 syllabes, non? "wind" et "September" ça ne laisse plus qu'une syllabe pour le verbe. C'est pour ça que j'ai débordé sur la ligne d'avant. Mais si tu vois autre chose, je suis preneur.

> Heartbreak - that blue shade
Pas de pb. Il y avait pas mal de latitude pour rendre "douloureux", je peux changer ça

> Je suis d'accord pour les feuilles qui perdent leur arbre.
Je suis parti sur l'idée de bateaux qui s'égarent, mais c'est trop compliqué et pas vraiment dans le ton. Je vais revoir ça.

> "chuinter"
Oui, bonne idée. "whisper" avec "damp" ça devrait le faire.

BlackSea4everBlackSea4ever    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:14

Finger pointed will give you 5 syllables, if you’d like
Fin-ger po-in-ted /ˈpoin(t)əd/

An apple bobs there — if Philippe and you like, here = hither

JadisJadis    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 20:53

"Finger pointed" sounds nice, but how do you count 5 syllables in it ?

JadisJadis    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:09

Fie! I got a French accent but never pronounced po-in-ted. Confused smile
What about this one :
Lone in the valley
sudden burst of golden leaves
godlike fingertip ?

BlackSea4everBlackSea4ever    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:15

Sorry, the accent is russian (after practicing, hopelessly, the French) and it is shown as 3-syllable

silencedsilenced    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:45

Since Masha is around I won't even try to lie about my English accent, but even so I can't find 3 syllables in "pointed"!

I was rather pleased with my "pointed out", like the Old Geezer In The Sky pointing a finger of light at the tree through the clouds. Teeth smile
Unless it's not explicit enough, I'd rather leave God between the lines.
Or maybe "pointed out through clouds" ?
What do you think?

BlackSea4everBlackSea4ever    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:52

I think all choices you made are good - it’s 5-7-5 rule that’s tough.
po-in-ted /ˈpoin(t)əd/ but it does look like all counters consider this 2-syllable - someone here is rolling on the floor laughing - only I pronounce it Po-in-ted

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:05

Я в оригинале немножко потерялась 😑
Но о чем этот finger pointing базар?

Does not have it to be about nature?

BlackSea4everBlackSea4ever    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:10

Bursting into gold
in the vale, a lone tree crown
pointed out by light1

silencedsilenced    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:13

If you're a Samurai it can be about death being lighter than a hair on a dwarf ant's calf and duty heavier than a pride of obese pregnant elephants.
I suppose other special derogations are available.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:10

Ура! Бегемот вернулся! Кот размером с собаку с кавалерийскими усами 🤣
To be honest, I didn't get what are at least half of these 12 poems about 🙄
But it must be beautiful in French or Japanese

BlackSea4everBlackSea4ever    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:10

Vera created haiku poem about autumn. Must be 5-7-5 3 lines typically about the nature.
Philippe created several, and several are super pretty as are Pierre’s translations. I’d need more time and wouldn’t do better than Pierre so I didn’t publish mine.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:17

Хайку должно ещё в 17 слогов быть.
No offense to Pierre

silencedsilenced    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:08

Well, my English accent being what you know it to be, I might very well have lost the count of syllables a few times.
Would you point me to the lines I should fix?

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:19

I am not very good on counting, but imho, in 1,2,3,6,7,8 you have only 16

silencedsilenced    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:26

I would need a breakdown of the offending line to see the errors of my French ways.
For instance:

(5) Po / plar / trees / at / dawn,
(7) rich / dark / green / furs / as / the / wind
(5) tells / of / Sep / tem / ber

What went wrong there?

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:38

Nothing, I told you I cannot count, we had Waran4ik for this, but he is banned
You are good, sorry for intrusion, I can delete my comments if you want me to

Btw, you French accent isn't bad, I understand you, but you should speak more in Russian

silencedsilenced    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:55

If you allow me a temporary suspension of benevolence, I'd rather write incorrect haiku than endure his casual xenophobia.
My English buddies sent me to order crisps in the pub as long as I brought back peanuts instead. That made my English understandable, but it wasn't enough to make it pretty.

No problem with your comments, a check is always helpful.

silencedsilenced    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:59

It's absolutely true. The barman was in the know, of course. He would serve me peanuts as long as I couldn't twist my tongue around "crisps". When I got closer I was rewarded with a less erroneous order, say cheese and onion instead of salt and vinegar. It happened maybe 3 or 4 times over a few weeks. All the gang cheered the first time I finally got the right flavour Teeth smile

JadisJadis    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 08:04

Oh well, I had prepared a whole argumentation, including factual examples and counter-examples in German and in English, but the final conclusion was : it depends, so I guess it's no use to post it here. Perhaps the right rule would be : the 3rd line should include the same rhythm as the 1st one (or a rythm alike) :
 Po / plar / trees / at / dawn (fine, 5 syllables, masculine ending)
/ of / Sep / tem / ber (booh! doesn't sound good to my ear :"tells us of September" would be better, but then we would have a feminine ending while the 1st line is masculine).
So I don't know the theory about that, I can only give my personal impression : either it sounds good, either it doesn't. Perhaps somebody could explain it scientifically. Now of course if one doesn't care for the syllable count (which is the case for many haijins nowadays), then the question is a different one.
Anyway, I don't know about the rhythm in Japanese, perhaps there are no mute syllables at all in it, and perhaps no rhythm at all. But I think that if you use a stressed language like English, German or Russian, you should pay attention to it, it should "sound right" (and we know that in English for ex, the rhythm is more important that counting the syllables on your fingers - some words can be pronounced differently, depending of the needs). That's why I rather would say for ex:
 In the autumn garden (instead of : An autumn garden)
 roamed by a mendicant wind (.)
 each tree gives its alms
and such haikus leave me somehow unsatisfied (Mario Freingruber, Austria) :
hinter wolken
 duftende blüten um/schließt
 behutsam die nacht
(the syllable count is OK, but the last line doesn't match the 1st one, rhythmically speaking. But perhaps I'm wrong, it could be considered as a poetical effect ?)

silencedsilenced    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 22:32

Erf... I read it as:
leaves / being / di / ges / ted / by / earth
Where did I skip a syllable?

JadisJadis    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 08:37

True, that's 8 syllables to me. But also the rhythm seems questionable, and the sonorities are very different from the original, look :
kə lə sol di ʒє rє tєl (que le sol digère, est-elle) : alternance of consonants and vocals, just like in Pacific Ocean languages [but using the sound є] ; it "flows" Regular smile
li:vz bi-iŋ dy-jєs-t'd by örθ (lots of consonants, it doesn't "flow", and sounds somehow  "technical")
although the meaning is exactly the same...
P.S. What about : "leaves being eaten by earth" ? (or: "swallowed", although this sounds to me to sharp, it's a very long process, not a "gulp")

silencedsilenced    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 09:24

"eaten" is ok I think, except it sounds like 6 syllables to me. I still have no idea where the elusive syllable might be, but I got used to living in a world full of wonders.

JadisJadis    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 16:30

Well, for this one I would pronounce be-ing (2 syllables), otherwise it would be "bing" ?

silencedsilenced    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 17:00

I took that for a very long syllable (biing), but that's just my English from France Regular smile
Ok for "eaten" anyway, it sounds less clinical, regardless of syllables and stuff.

Vera JahnkeVera Jahnke    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 18:01

Here are some rules for Haikus:
1) 3 lines with the syllable-structure 5-7-5, no rhymes, no headline
2) write about something outside yourself (so do not express emotions directly: if you want to create emotions, say: cloudy/black/blue sky, falling rain/leaves and so on)
3) write about a concrete (not abstract) perception (present-tense!) of natural things (be "here and now", it's like a meditation)
4) the last line should be a surprise, an open end... – so if you translate a haiku, never exchange the last two lines.

JadisJadis    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:16

It's a collection of 12 different poems (haikus), all of them more or less bound to Autumn.
By the way, what was that thing about дым and пепел ? Did you set the samovar on fire?

BlackSea4everBlackSea4ever    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:19

Where is the dislike button? Yes, M’s is quite darker, but it’s a beauty with
И небосвод уже не тот
Без тебя.
Бесцветны все огни и
Древ листва.

And what about mine?! Yes, this is jealousy...

JadisJadis    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:30

I answered over there.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:22

We had and still have, but contained, awful fires in different areas of California recently. We couldn't see the sun for at least 2 weeks, I am serious. Everything outside is covered with ashes. People were evacuated from their homes to shelters. It is devastating

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:35

I hate to say it, but thanks to COVID-19, our offices are closed and we work from home, but still, I had to turn the lights on during daytime bc it was sooo dark and when I took my garbage out, it felt like I am on a campfire site singing Okudzhava

Vera JahnkeVera Jahnke    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 17:27

So sorry to hear that. All the best to you, good that you haven't lost you sense of humor! 👍💗

JadisJadis    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:36

Yes, we heard about that, and it's not the 1st time, as it seems. I heard that Trump proposed to cut down all the trees in California to avoid fires, but this is probably pure slander (ask Deanna, she's probably involved in the rumour). Anyway, try to keep safe.

(As to me, my Internet connection is a plague tonight, perhaps due to heavy rain. I think I'll better go to bed).

BlackSea4everBlackSea4ever    Sat, 26/09/2020 - 21:38

Good night.

And Trump actually blamed California for not cleaning the forrest floors...

Drüsi HörbarDrüsi Hörbar    Tue, 29/09/2020 - 14:57

Forests are burning
Wildfires raging out there
Donald sweeps the floors

Drüsi HörbarDrüsi Hörbar    Tue, 29/09/2020 - 15:05

Maybe your wish will come true after they've put him to jail for tax evasion some day? Sweeping floors is a popular activity there 😎😁

silencedsilenced    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 16:30

warming and soothing
a trail of benevolence
across my dull sky

Vera JahnkeVera Jahnke    Sun, 27/09/2020 - 18:17

the rain is pouring
a sated, wet black cat purrs
near the fireplace

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