Tag Archives: impermanence

REFLECTION

The old year has departed.  Here is a loose translation of a waka by Ki No Tsurayuki (c.  872-945).  You will recall that a waka, in form, is like a hokku — but with two extra lines added.  In Japanese … Continue reading

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FOREVER AUTUMN: THOMAS HARDY’S DURING WIND AND RAIN

Today we shall take a look at Thomas Hardy’s poem During Wind and Rain. It might be puzzling at first glance, but one quickly notices that the first five lines of each stanza depict a pleasant scene of middle-class family … Continue reading

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BROOKS TOO BROAD FOR LEAPING, FIELDS WHERE ROSES FADE

Today, one of the simplest and most effective poems of Alfred Edward Housman, from the collection A Shropshire Lad. Like other poems in that anthology, it has deep undertones of loss and bittersweet nostalgia. It is titled With Rue My … Continue reading

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AUTUMN AND THE MORNING GLORY

Today I would like to talk about morning glory hokku. Why?  Because I happened to pass a blooming morning glory vine this morning, as you can see from the above photo.  Also, in old Japanese hokku, the morning glory was … Continue reading

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ENTERING AUTUMN

Here is a timely repeat of an earlier posting: Summer is ending, autumn is beginning. I have already mentioned the transitional verse by Kyoroku that leads us into the season: August; First on the ears of millet – The autumn … Continue reading

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TAIGI AND THE FALLEN BLOSSOMS

Today’s hokku is a spring hokku by Taigi.  To get the meaning of it in English I will take some liberties, then explain the original: Everything swept up Is cherry blossom; The evening temple.  The original says “Dust/rubbish all cherry-blossom; … Continue reading

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IONIKON: Constantine Cavafy and the Historical Imagination

There is an old Italian saying that the translator is a traitor.  That can at times be true, if a translation is manipulative and unfaithful to the original, but in general it is not true.  A translation is not an … Continue reading

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