A hokku by Kyoroku:
A cool breeze;
Cloud shadows passing
Over the green fields.
This rather reminds one of a scene from a Hayao Miyazaki animated feature, with the wind blowing the grasses in waves.
Where I live, this would be a hokku for early summer, because later the fields turn yellow-brown. But in the original, the fields are not fields of grass, but rather rice fields — rice paddies — which are green from irrigation.
Here is the transliterated Japanese:
Suzukaze ya aota no ue no kumo no kage
Cool-wind ya green-field’s over ‘s cloud’s shadows
Given that there is no differentiation between singular and plural in the original, we might also translate it:
The cool wind;
A cloud shadow passes
Over the green field.
In either case, it gives us a pleasant sense of movement in wind and shadow, a harmony between the coolness of the wind and the coolness of the shadow.
In form, this is very much a setting/subject/action hokku:
Setting: The cool wind;
Subject: A cloud shadow
Action: passes over the green field
As I have said many times, that form is an easy way to write a hokku, and such hokku can be very effective. This pleasant verse is good to read on a warm summer’s day.
There is a difference between the effect of the first and second translations given here. The first — with multiple cloud shadows — gives us a stronger sense of the passing of time than the second translation.
One thought on “CLOUD SHADOWS”
nice poetic post