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Re: Translating BASHO

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  • lbolenyc
    ... when ... into ... Mr. Coomler says: ...when translating hokku from one language to another, one must follow the structure and grammar and other guiding
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 1, 2008
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      --- In translatinghaiku@yahoogroups.com, "Greve Gabi"
      <gokurakuatworldkigo@...> wrote:
      >
      > quote
      >
      > An autumn hokku by Bashô:
      >
      > Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana
      > Clouds sometimes people wo rest moon-look kana
      >
      > snip
      >
      > reading a word-for-word translation does not mean one is getting the
      > same effect as reading it in the original language. And second,
      when
      > translating hokku from one language to another, one must follow the
      > structure and grammar and other guiding elements of the language
      into
      > which the verse is translated, including punctuation, to properly
      > convey the original.
      >
      >
      > Continue here
      >
      > http://hokkuinn.wordpress.com/
      >
      > David /Hokku In
      >
      >
      > Check out a lot of useful thoughts for the translator !
      > GABI


      Mr. Coomler says:

      "...when translating hokku from one language to another, one must
      follow the structure and grammar and other guiding elements of the
      language into which the verse is translated, including punctuation,
      to properly convey the original."


      If one were encountering this statement without having any prior
      knowledge of the principles of good translationg, this might be new
      news. But Mr. Coomler is waaaaaay back in line behind many others who
      have made the same point. All except the "punctuation" point. The
      jury is still out concerning that point.

      Unlike many other langugages, English is VERY flexible when it comes
      to matters of syntax and punctuation, so it's not really clear
      how "to properly convey the original" into "proper" English.

      Mr. Coomler goes on to say:

      I think some translators of old hokku, influenced by modern haiku
      practice, make a fundamental error in omitting punctuation, which
      provides the necessary guidance in English. They assume, incorrectly
      in my view, that syntax alone will adequately guide the reader. But
      only a little experience in reading modern haiku demonstrates that
      this does not and has never worked well, and that it is disastrous
      when applied to the translation of old hokku.

      [end of excerpt]

      It would be nice if Mr. Coomler would support this assertion with
      examples, because modern English mainstream poetic practice, as well
      as haiku practice, indicates to me that "omitting punctuation" can
      work very well. As with using puncutation, it all depends on the
      skill of the writer, whether using punctuation or omitting
      punctuation.

      Let's look at some examples of the translation of this haiku into
      English by significant translators of Basho's haiku into English:

      From time to time
      The clouds give rest
      To the moon-beholders.

      Blyth

      Blyth, except for the ending period, uses no other punctuation. Of
      course, he also slightly transposes the word order of the original.
      Is he correct in using no kireji-type English punctuation in the body
      of his translation? There doesn't seem to be a 'kireji' in the
      Japanese, except for the 'kana' at the end. Does the verb-
      ending 'yasumeru' ('yasumaru' in an earlier version) indicate a place
      wher punctuation would be required in English?

      Blyth is very old-fashioned when it comes to punctuation. One might
      say he is a stickler for the proper use of punctuation, so this lack
      of kireji-type punctuation is very puzzling.


      Clouds come from time to time--
      and bring to men a chance to rest
      from looking at the moon.

      Henderson

      Henderson's dash at the end of the first line seems rather arbitrary,
      especially since it comes before the conjunction "and," and breaks up
      what otherwise seems to be smoothy flowing syntax. As we will see
      from other translations, including Mr. Coomler's, if there is going
      to be kireji-type punctuation, it seems more "proper" to put it
      between the second and third lines.

      One explanation for the dash might be that Henderson almost without
      fail puts SOME sort of kireji-type punctuation in his translations,
      so this is simply following his "style" of translation.


      clouds now and then
      give rest to people
      viewing the moon

      Ueda

      No punctuation at all! According to Mr. Coomler's view, how is the
      reader to make sense of this translation without the "proper"
      guidance provided by punctuation??????


      The clouds come and go,
      providing a rest for all
      the moon viewers

      Hamill

      Hamill only uses partial punctuation: a comma in the body of the
      translation, but no period at the end. How improper! However,
      Hamill's use of the comma is correct, providing as it does a proper
      pause, or break, in the English syntax.


      clouds now and then
      give us a rest:
      moonviewing

      Barnhill

      Like Hamill, Barnhill doesn't follow up his first use of punctuation
      with a correspondingly proper use of a period at the end of the poem,
      so we could say that he too is inconsistent in his use of
      punctuation. Is inconsistent use of punctuation worse than no
      punctuation at all? However, of all the punctuations punctuating this
      haiku in translation, I like Barnhill's colon the best. It seems more
      correct to me than a dash or a semi-colon would be. However, one
      usually associates a colon with the use in the Japanese original of
      the kireji 'ya'. There is no 'ya' in the original Japanese.


      occasional clouds
      people can rest themselves
      moon viewing

      Reichhold

      Now we are in the "twilight zone" of no punctuation to guide us
      whatsoever, not even a period at the end to tell us the poem has
      ended. What are we to do??????? Nevetheless, I might agree with what
      I assume would be Mr. Coomler's position on this, that it does
      require more effort on the part of the reader to figure out what is
      going on in the scene than most of the other translations require.

      I do like "occasional clouds" better than other versions' "from time
      to time" and "now and then." But the best at conveying the
      intermittent cloudcover, to me, is Hamill's "clouds come and go."


      Clouds sometimes
      Give people a rest;
      Moon viewing.

      David Coomler


      Now here is a prissily proper poem in English: the beginning word of
      each line capitalized, and the "proper" use of punctuation all the
      way through from beginning to end. Just what a 'hokku' in English
      should be. It makes me yearn for those verities of yore we seem to
      have abandoned in these modern times. However, I do think that
      Barnhill's colon is more punctuationally correct than Coomler's semi-
      colon. However, that would be hard to demonstrate because, as I have
      suggested eariler, the rules of punctuation in English are not
      completely clearcut for some punctuation usage by any means. I would
      say that the most hard-and-fast English punctuation rule is a period
      being required at the end of a sentence.


      So there you have it. Which translation do you prefer?

      Larry
    • Valeria Simonova-Cecon
      clouds now and then give us a rest: moonviewing Barnhill I definitely prefer this translation. Valeria ... From: lbolenyc Subject:
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 1, 2008
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        clouds now and then
        give us a rest:
        moonviewing

        Barnhill

        I definitely prefer this translation.

        Valeria

        --- On Wed, 10/1/08, lbolenyc <lbolenyc@...> wrote:
        From: lbolenyc <lbolenyc@...>
        Subject: [Translating Haiku] Re: Translating BASHO
        To: translatinghaiku@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 2:08 PM

        --- In translatinghaiku@ yahoogroups. com, "Greve Gabi"
        <gokurakuatworldkig o@...> wrote:
        >
        > quote
        >
        > An autumn hokku by Bashô:
        >
        > Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana
        > Clouds sometimes people wo rest moon-look kana
        >
        > snip
        >
        > reading a word-for-word translation does not mean one is getting the
        > same effect as reading it in the original language. And second,
        when
        > translating hokku from one language to another, one must follow the
        > structure and grammar and other guiding elements of the language
        into
        > which the verse is translated, including punctuation, to properly
        > convey the original.
        >
        >
        > Continue here
        >
        > http://hokkuinn. wordpress. com/
        >
        > David /Hokku In
        >
        >
        > Check out a lot of useful thoughts for the translator !
        > GABI

        Mr. Coomler says:

        "...when translating hokku from one language to another, one must
        follow the structure and grammar and other guiding elements of the
        language into which the verse is translated, including punctuation,
        to properly convey the original."

        If one were encountering this statement without having any prior
        knowledge of the principles of good translationg, this might be new
        news. But Mr. Coomler is waaaaaay back in line behind many others who
        have made the same point. All except the "punctuation" point. The
        jury is still out concerning that point.

        Unlike many other langugages, English is VERY flexible when it comes
        to matters of syntax and punctuation, so it's not really clear
        how "to properly convey the original" into "proper" English.

        Mr. Coomler goes on to say:

        I think some translators of old hokku, influenced by modern haiku
        practice, make a fundamental error in omitting punctuation, which
        provides the necessary guidance in English. They assume, incorrectly
        in my view, that syntax alone will adequately guide the reader. But
        only a little experience in reading modern haiku demonstrates that
        this does not and has never worked well, and that it is disastrous
        when applied to the translation of old hokku.

        [end of excerpt]

        It would be nice if Mr. Coomler would support this assertion with
        examples, because modern English mainstream poetic practice, as well
        as haiku practice, indicates to me that "omitting punctuation" can
        work very well. As with using puncutation, it all depends on the
        skill of the writer, whether using punctuation or omitting
        punctuation.

        Let's look at some examples of the translation of this haiku into
        English by significant translators of Basho's haiku into English:

        From time to time
        The clouds give rest
        To the moon-beholders.

        Blyth

        Blyth, except for the ending period, uses no other punctuation. Of
        course, he also slightly transposes the word order of the original.
        Is he correct in using no kireji-type English punctuation in the body
        of his translation? There doesn't seem to be a 'kireji' in the
        Japanese, except for the 'kana' at the end. Does the verb-
        ending 'yasumeru' ('yasumaru' in an earlier version) indicate a place
        wher punctuation would be required in English?

        Blyth is very old-fashioned when it comes to punctuation. One might
        say he is a stickler for the proper use of punctuation, so this lack
        of kireji-type punctuation is very puzzling.

        Clouds come from time to time--
        and bring to men a chance to rest
        from looking at the moon.

        Henderson

        Henderson's dash at the end of the first line seems rather arbitrary,
        especially since it comes before the conjunction "and," and breaks up
        what otherwise seems to be smoothy flowing syntax. As we will see
        from other translations, including Mr. Coomler's, if there is going
        to be kireji-type punctuation, it seems more "proper" to put it
        between the second and third lines.

        One explanation for the dash might be that Henderson almost without
        fail puts SOME sort of kireji-type punctuation in his translations,
        so this is simply following his "style" of translation.

        clouds now and then
        give rest to people
        viewing the moon

        Ueda

        No punctuation at all! According to Mr. Coomler's view, how is the
        reader to make sense of this translation without the "proper"
        guidance provided by punctuation? ?????

        The clouds come and go,
        providing a rest for all
        the moon viewers

        Hamill

        Hamill only uses partial punctuation: a comma in the body of the
        translation, but no period at the end. How improper! However,
        Hamill's use of the comma is correct, providing as it does a proper
        pause, or break, in the English syntax.

        clouds now and then
        give us a rest:
        moonviewing

        Barnhill

        Like Hamill, Barnhill doesn't follow up his first use of punctuation
        with a correspondingly proper use of a period at the end of the poem,
        so we could say that he too is inconsistent in his use of
        punctuation. Is inconsistent use of punctuation worse than no
        punctuation at all? However, of all the punctuations punctuating this
        haiku in translation, I like Barnhill's colon the best. It seems more
        correct to me than a dash or a semi-colon would be. However, one
        usually associates a colon with the use in the Japanese original of
        the kireji 'ya'. There is no 'ya' in the original Japanese.

        occasional clouds
        people can rest themselves
        moon viewing

        Reichhold

        Now we are in the "twilight zone" of no punctuation to guide us
        whatsoever, not even a period at the end to tell us the poem has
        ended. What are we to do??????? Nevetheless, I might agree with what
        I assume would be Mr. Coomler's position on this, that it does
        require more effort on the part of the reader to figure out what is
        going on in the scene than most of the other translations require.

        I do like "occasional clouds" better than other versions' "from time
        to time" and "now and then." But the best at conveying the
        intermittent cloudcover, to me, is Hamill's "clouds come and go."

        Clouds sometimes
        Give people a rest;
        Moon viewing.

        David Coomler

        Now here is a prissily proper poem in English: the beginning word of
        each line capitalized, and the "proper" use of punctuation all the
        way through from beginning to end. Just what a 'hokku' in English
        should be. It makes me yearn for those verities of yore we seem to
        have abandoned in these modern times. However, I do think that
        Barnhill's colon is more punctuationally correct than Coomler's semi-
        colon. However, that would be hard to demonstrate because, as I have
        suggested eariler, the rules of punctuation in English are not
        completely clearcut for some punctuation usage by any means. I would
        say that the most hard-and-fast English punctuation rule is a period
        being required at the end of a sentence.

        So there you have it. Which translation do you prefer?

        Larry


      • Greve Gabi
        quote An autumn hokku by Bashô: Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana Clouds sometimes people wo rest moon-look kana snip reading a word-for-word
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 1, 2008
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          quote

          An autumn hokku by Bashô:

          Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana
          Clouds sometimes people wo rest moon-look kana

          snip

          reading a word-for-word translation does not mean one is getting the
          same effect as reading it in the original language. And second, when
          translating hokku from one language to another, one must follow the
          structure and grammar and other guiding elements of the language into
          which the verse is translated, including punctuation, to properly
          convey the original.


          Continue here

          http://hokkuinn.wordpress.com/
          David Coomler / Hokku In

          Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

          Some thoughts by Larry Bole:

          Mr. Coomler says:

          "...when translating hokku from one language to another, one must

          follow the structure and grammar and other guiding elements of the
          language into which the verse is translated, including punctuation,
          to properly convey the original."



          If one were encountering this statement without having any prior
          knowledge of the principles of good translationg, this might be new
          news. But Mr. Coomler is waaaaaay back in line behind many others who
          have made the same point. All except the "punctuation" point. The
          jury is still out concerning that point.

          Unlike many other langugages, English is VERY flexible when it comes
          to matters of syntax and punctuation, so it's not really clear
          how "to properly convey the original" into "proper" English.

          Mr. Coomler goes on to say:

          I think some translators of old hokku, influenced by modern haiku
          practice, make a fundamental error in omitting punctuation, which
          provides the necessary guidance in English. They assume, incorrectly
          in my view, that syntax alone will adequately guide the reader. But
          only a little experience in reading modern haiku demonstrates that
          this does not and has never worked well, and that it is disastrous
          when applied to the translation of old hokku.

          [end of excerpt]

          It would be nice if Mr. Coomler would support this assertion with
          examples, because modern English mainstream poetic practice, as well
          as haiku practice, indicates to me that "omitting punctuation" can
          work very well. As with using puncutation, it all depends on the
          skill of the writer, whether using punctuation or omitting
          punctuation.

          Let's look at some examples of the translation of this haiku into
          English by significant translators of Basho's haiku into English:

          From time to time
          The clouds give rest
          To the moon-beholders.

          Blyth

          Blyth, except for the ending period, uses no other punctuation. Of
          course, he also slightly transposes the word order of the original.
          Is he correct in using no kireji-type English punctuation in the body
          of his translation? There doesn't seem to be a 'kireji' in the
          Japanese, except for the 'kana' at the end. Does the verb-
          ending 'yasumeru' ('yasumaru' in an earlier version) indicate a place
          wher punctuation would be required in English?

          Blyth is very old-fashioned when it comes to punctuation. One might
          say he is a stickler for the proper use of punctuation, so this lack
          of kireji-type punctuation is very puzzling.


          Clouds come from time to time--
          and bring to men a chance to rest
          from looking at the moon.

          Henderson

          Henderson's dash at the end of the first line seems rather arbitrary,
          especially since it comes before the conjunction "and," and breaks up
          what otherwise seems to be smoothy flowing syntax. As we will see
          from other translations, including Mr. Coomler's, if there is going
          to be kireji-type punctuation, it seems more "proper" to put it
          between the second and third lines.

          One explanation for the dash might be that Henderson almost without
          fail puts SOME sort of kireji-type punctuation in his translations,
          so this is simply following his "style" of translation.


          clouds now and then
          give rest to people
          viewing the moon

          Ueda

          No punctuation at all! According to Mr. Coomler's view, how is the
          reader to make sense of this translation without the "proper"
          guidance provided by punctuation??????


          The clouds come and go,
          providing a rest for all
          the moon viewers

          Hamill

          Hamill only uses partial punctuation: a comma in the body of the
          translation, but no period at the end. How improper! However,
          Hamill's use of the comma is correct, providing as it does a proper
          pause, or break, in the English syntax.


          clouds now and then
          give us a rest:
          moonviewing

          Barnhill

          Like Hamill, Barnhill doesn't follow up his first use of punctuation
          with a correspondingly proper use of a period at the end of the poem,
          so we could say that he too is inconsistent in his use of
          punctuation. Is inconsistent use of punctuation worse than no
          punctuation at all? However, of all the punctuations punctuating this
          haiku in translation, I like Barnhill's colon the best. It seems more
          correct to me than a dash or a semi-colon would be. However, one
          usually associates a colon with the use in the Japanese original of
          the kireji 'ya'. There is no 'ya' in the original Japanese.


          occasional clouds
          people can rest themselves
          moon viewing

          Reichhold

          Now we are in the "twilight zone" of no punctuation to guide us
          whatsoever, not even a period at the end to tell us the poem has
          ended. What are we to do??????? Nevetheless, I might agree with what
          I assume would be Mr. Coomler's position on this, that it does
          require more effort on the part of the reader to figure out what is
          going on in the scene than most of the other translations require.

          I do like "occasional clouds" better than other versions' "from time
          to time" and "now and then." But the best at conveying the
          intermittent cloudcover, to me, is Hamill's "clouds come and go."


          Clouds sometimes
          Give people a rest;
          Moon viewing.

          David Coomler


          Now here is a prissily proper poem in English: the beginning word of
          each line capitalized, and the "proper" use of punctuation all the
          way through from beginning to end. Just what a 'hokku' in English
          should be. It makes me yearn for those verities of yore we seem to
          have abandoned in these modern times. However, I do think that
          Barnhill's colon is more punctuationally correct than Coomler's semi-
          colon. However, that would be hard to demonstrate because, as I have
          suggested eariler, the rules of punctuation in English are not
          completely clearcut for some punctuation usage by any means. I would
          say that the most hard-and-fast English punctuation rule is a period
          being required at the end of a sentence.


          So there you have it. Which translation do you prefer?

          Larry

          Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

          More
          http://www.google.co.jp/search?hl=en&q=%22yasumuru+tsukimi+kana%22&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=



          The CLOUDS as a haiku topic
          http://haikutopics.blogspot.com/2006/04/cloud-kumo.html

          Thanks for your extensive research, Larry!

          Gabi
        • Grzegorz Sionkowski
          ... None ;-) kana is not a problem of punctuation for me. It is a pity, that Japanese kana is treated by the English language translators (and then by the
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 3, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Larry:

            > > An autumn hokku by Bashô:
            > >
            > > Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana
            > > Clouds sometimes people wo rest moon-look kana

            > From time to time
            > The clouds give rest
            > To the moon-beholders.
            >
            > Blyth

            > Clouds come from time to time--
            > and bring to men a chance to rest
            > from looking at the moon.
            >
            > Henderson

            > clouds now and then
            > give rest to people
            > viewing the moon
            >
            > Ueda

            > The clouds come and go,
            > providing a rest for all
            > the moon viewers
            >
            > Hamill

            > clouds now and then
            > give us a rest:
            > moonviewing
            >
            > Barnhill
            >

            > occasional clouds
            > people can rest themselves
            > moon viewing
            >
            > Reichhold
            >

            > Clouds sometimes
            > Give people a rest;
            > Moon viewing.
            >
            > David Coomler

            > So there you have it. Which translation do you prefer?
            >
            > Larry
            >

            None ;-)

            "kana" is not a problem of punctuation for me.

            It is a pity, that Japanese "kana" is treated by the English
            language translators (and then by the others) as kireji only.
            Reading such translations people write their haiku with no
            expression at all.
            As I know, Japanese "kana" means in English: 1) I wonder;
            2) how!; what!; alas!

            Using this meaning in the translations, one can obtain
            something like this:

            Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana

            an occasional cloud
            gives the viewers a rest--
            what a moon tonight!

            Basho/tr. G.S.

            Too expressive, too emotional to be haiku?
            Yes, if you still think, that "kana" means... nothing ;-)

            best,
            Gregor
          • lbolenyc
            ... Gregor san, An interesting view point! For what it s worth, this haiku of Basho s was included in a haibun, with this preceding prose (sometimes given as
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 3, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In translatinghaiku@yahoogroups.com, "Grzegorz Sionkowski"
              <gs@...> wrote:
              >
              > Larry:
              >
              > > > An autumn hokku by Bashô:
              > > >
              > > > Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana
              > > > Clouds sometimes people wo rest moon-look kana
              >
              > > From time to time
              > > The clouds give rest
              > > To the moon-beholders.
              > >
              > > Blyth
              >
              > > Clouds come from time to time--
              > > and bring to men a chance to rest
              > > from looking at the moon.
              > >
              > > Henderson
              >
              > > clouds now and then
              > > give rest to people
              > > viewing the moon
              > >
              > > Ueda
              >
              > > The clouds come and go,
              > > providing a rest for all
              > > the moon viewers
              > >
              > > Hamill
              >
              > > clouds now and then
              > > give us a rest:
              > > moonviewing
              > >
              > > Barnhill
              > >
              >
              > > occasional clouds
              > > people can rest themselves
              > > moon viewing
              > >
              > > Reichhold
              > >
              >
              > > Clouds sometimes
              > > Give people a rest;
              > > Moon viewing.
              > >
              > > David Coomler
              >
              > > So there you have it. Which translation do you prefer?
              > >
              > > Larry
              > >
              >
              > None ;-)
              >
              > "kana" is not a problem of punctuation for me.
              >
              > It is a pity, that Japanese "kana" is treated by the English
              > language translators (and then by the others) as kireji only.
              > Reading such translations people write their haiku with no
              > expression at all.
              > As I know, Japanese "kana" means in English: 1) I wonder;
              > 2) how!; what!; alas!
              >
              > Using this meaning in the translations, one can obtain
              > something like this:
              >
              > Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana
              >
              > an occasional cloud
              > gives the viewers a rest--
              > what a moon tonight!
              >
              > Basho/tr. G.S.
              >
              > Too expressive, too emotional to be haiku?
              > Yes, if you still think, that "kana" means... nothing ;-)
              >
              > best,
              > Gregor


              Gregor san,

              An interesting 'view'point!

              For what it's worth, this haiku of Basho's was included in a haibun,
              with this preceding prose (sometimes given as a headnote in English
              translations), translated by Barnhill as:

              All through the night the sky kept shifting between clear and cloudy,
              leaving us restless.

              [haiku follows]


              The haiku alludes to a 'waka' by Saigyoo:

              nakanaka ni
              tokidoki kumo no
              kakaru koso
              tsuki wo [or 'o'] motenasu
              kazashi [or 'kazari'] narikeri


              Clouds appearing
              now and then
              covering its light
              entertain the moon
              and adorn its beauty

              trans. Barnhill

              And a translation found in Ueda's "Basho and His Interpreters:"


              Contrary to what
              I suspected, the clouds that pass
              from time to time
              are adornment of the moon
              that enhance its beauty.


              A couple of the commentators suggest that it's the clouds as well as
              the moon that are beautiful:

              "But it is quite a lovely sight when a cloud passes over the moon
              from time to time." -- Kobayashi


              "In my opinion, Basho himself gazed at the harvest moon and was
              overcome by the beauty of the clouds." -- Shuuson


              Larry
            • Greve Gabi
              ... I also think KANA should be a bit more than just the invisible something at the end of the line. I quite like your WHAT A MOON TONIGHT ! I can see old
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 3, 2008
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                Larry:

                > > An autumn hokku by Bashô:
                > >
                > > Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana
                > > Clouds sometimes people wo rest moon-look kana

                > From time to time
                > The clouds give rest
                > To the moon-beholders.
                >
                > Blyth

                > Clouds come from time to time--
                > and bring to men a chance to rest
                > from looking at the moon.
                >
                > Henderson

                > clouds now and then
                > give rest to people
                > viewing the moon
                >
                > Ueda

                > The clouds come and go,
                > providing a rest for all
                > the moon viewers
                >
                > Hamill

                > clouds now and then
                > give us a rest:
                > moonviewing
                >
                > Barnhill
                >

                > occasional clouds
                > people can rest themselves
                > moon viewing
                >
                > Reichhold
                >

                > Clouds sometimes
                > Give people a rest;
                > Moon viewing.
                >
                > David Coomler

                > So there you have it. Which translation do you prefer?
                >
                > Larry
                >

                None ;-)

                "kana" is not a problem of punctuation for me.

                It is a pity, that Japanese "kana" is treated by the English
                language translators (and then by the others) as kireji only.
                Reading such translations people write their haiku with no
                expression at all.
                As I know, Japanese "kana" means in English: 1) I wonder;
                2) how!; what!; alas!

                Using this meaning in the translations, one can obtain
                something like this:

                Kumo oriori hito wo yasumuru tsukimi kana

                an occasional cloud
                gives the viewers a rest--
                what a moon tonight!

                Basho/tr. G.S.

                Too expressive, too emotional to be haiku?
                Yes, if you still think, that "kana" means... nothing ;-)

                best,
                Gregor



                ------------------------------------

                Good point, Gregor.
                 
                I also think KANA should  be a bit more than just the  invisible "something" at the end of the line.
                 
                I quite like your 

                WHAT A MOON TONIGHT !
                 
                I can see old Basho mumbling this to himself !
                 
                (And good to read from you again, Gregor! I hope you are fine and busy.)
                 
                GABI
                Clouds and Haiku
                 
                 
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