Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Crawl out

    from under the shed


Black forest

    nothing you say matters

          it snows all morning

One insect

    asleep on a leaf

          can save your life

Every horse

    is miraculous

          on a snowy morning

Butterfly cruising

    across a field

          made of sunlight

Harvest in progress

    a crane stands

          in the rice paddy

Sleeping at a temple

    watching the moon

          my face as a baby

The moon slides by

    the treetops full of rain

          hold still

Let's go snow viewing

    fall down a lot

          before we get there

At this mountain path

    me and the lark

          lounging in the sky

If I had the voice

    I would sing the blossoms

          off the trees

Cherry blossoms everywhere

    at daybreak

          the mountain's just the same

A pheasant's cry

    suddenly missing

          my mother and father

Autumn's come

    fold the mosquito net

          use it for a blanket

Deep into autumn

    my next-door neighbor

          I wonder what he does

(1662 ~ 1694)



Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times
selected haiku translated by David Young
Knopf, 2013

art : basho & sora


Bill Knott said...

"translated" by David Young? really? translated? from the Japanese? directly? he isn't just taking work by real translators and adapting it?

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Dear Bill,

Cid Corman, translator, could barely read more than a few Japanese words. It's curious how some magic is made.

all's well, Bob

Bill Knott said...

if David Young is a "translator" of Japanese poetry,

what is Hiroaki Sato?

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

A master.

Bill Knott said...

that's just blather — "master" my ass —

what the fuck is a translator? If Sato is a translator,
and he is,

then Young isn't—


Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...