> > I don't care for those translations that render the last line as
>"sound of water" - I'm looking for "splash," which I find closer in
>spirit to the original.
>But the original *is* "the sound of water," not "splash" or
>"kerplop" or "bawoosh." Basho probably could have used the Japanese
>"hanekashi" (splash) or one of Japan's famous treasure trove of
>onomatopoeic words, but he didn't -- he said, "the sound of water."
Hmm. I guess my taste is colored by my college Japanese (& Zen)
professor, who emphasized the "splash." That was the first time I'd
heard the poem. Because you're right - "Sound of water" is a
word-for-word translation, even if I do disagree with the phrasing.
("Sound of water?" The sound of the water?" No particles like "the"
or "a" in Japanese, which add to the feel in English...)
>You've never seen a book called "One hundred frogs" which is nothing
>more than a collection of translations of That One Haiku.
Sounds like it might be fun reading. I was about to go into how I
think the last line should be translated, but I think the book
probably covers that in far better detail. :)
>First, that fits the meter -- five mora.
Actually, I don't agree that a translation should fit the same
syllable count as the Japanese. The rhythm is different, since
there's stress on different syllables, no matter how you do it.
There's a neat discussion about whether an haiku in English needs to
be 5-7-5 - what makes a good haiku? See
The author talks
about how he taught haiku to schoolchildren.
Thanks for the other translation suggestions!
Emma Kolstad Antunes