At this moment, I am convinced

Translated any poems lately? If so, then why not post them here?
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Lake
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At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Lake » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:55 pm

At this moment, I am convinced

My arms sneer at me: can you fly like
migrating birds across seven continents
against avalanche, snow storms, wind and waves,
then ballet-dance on the spring river?

No, I cannot fly.

My body flinches: can you jump like
an Olympian from the high platform-
run up, leap, somersault, twist and turn, and enter
the water like a needle without a splash?

No, I cannot dive.

My eyes hear a scholar chanting-
A chickadee has gone into the travel casket;
not knowing about the game, the pilgrim pleads:
I'd like to know the road home to Wakasa.
Delighted, the haijin claps, then points the way.

My ears watch an art exhibition-
Tell me, when did you first learn drawing?
At age sixty. Replies the artist. Why?
Sixty! That’s right, that‘s right. Look,
each colour, each line is saturated with life.


.
Last edited by Lake on Sun May 05, 2013 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Antcliff » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:39 pm

Intriguing, Lake.

All is clear, with the interesting idea of parts of body as critics of the person...and then suddenly I fall off the ferry. Here:
My eyes hear a scholar chanting-
A chickadee has gone into the travel casket;
:

Baffled at the moment by that. :o

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

Lake
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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Lake » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:32 pm

Hello Seth,

Thank you for reading. Sorry for tossing you into the water.
I admit S3 and S4 don't seem connect well with S1 and S2.
:(

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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Antcliff » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:49 pm

I'm back again Lake,

Stanza 3 is still something of mystery to me :D
Hmm.

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Lake » Thu May 02, 2013 12:54 pm

I know, I know. :oops:

Thanks for coming back, Seth.

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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Antcliff » Thu May 02, 2013 1:26 pm

Lake wrote:I know, I know. :oops:

Thanks for coming back, Seth.

Lake
I don't know why you are embarassed! It must be difficult indeed translating. Anyway, I am intrigued by the poem. Will you be working further on it?

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Lake » Fri May 03, 2013 3:22 pm

Antcliff wrote: Anyway, I am intrigued by the poem. Will you be working further on it?
Of course, of course I will, Seth. But as you know my revision is always very slow.

If I quietly give you a hint that the third stanza is about writing, would that help? Or maybe not, it might become more confusing. :(

Thanks for your interest.

Best,
Lake
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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri May 03, 2013 7:14 pm

Hi, Lake

S3 is extremely difficult to fathom.

"Haijin"

- haiku poet? Poet (in general)? Cripple?
Or (since "game" is used) - someone who is addicted to online gaming?

What is the significance of Wakasa province?

What is a travel casket?


Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Lake » Fri May 03, 2013 11:48 pm

Hi Seth and Geoff,

At this moment, I have to explain, which is not a good sign.
twoleftfeet wrote:
S3 is extremely difficult to fathom. - I always thought my poem is very easy to understand, not this time I bet.

"Haijin"

- haiku poet? Poet (in general)? Cripple? Yes, Haijin- haiku poet.
Or (since "game" is used) - someone who is addicted to online gaming? No, it is an old game - writing haiku. Someone starts a line, another has to respond him with a line.

What is the significance of Wakasa province? - the pilgrim's hometown.

What is a travel casket? - a container for keeping travellers' personal belongings, usually made of bamboo in the old time.
A scholar had a hard time trying to write a line as he saw the traveller resting at the crossroad. Seeing a little bird flew into the traveller's casket inspired him, without much thought he chanted:"A chickadee has gone into the travel casket;" the traveller, illiterate in literature, had no idear what the scholar was talking about but just wanted to find out which road would lead to his hometown, simply asking :"I'd like to know the road to Wakasa". To the haijin's ear, it was a wonderful line to complete the haiku, so he happily pointed the way.

Does this two-liner verse sound like haiku to you? I'm afraid, the story sounds more interesting than my poem, doesn't it?

Thank you for your time to fathom its meaning. :)

Lake
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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by twoleftfeet » Sat May 04, 2013 10:18 am

Thanks, Lake

Now S3 makes sense.
It is difficult for the reader (at least this Western one) to infer that the haijin and the scholar are one person, and that the pilgrim is the traveller with the casket, and that the game of haiku requires the pilgrim/traveller to add a line.

I think it is reasonable for you to add a note about "the game" without changing the poetry text.

Maybe change "the road to Wakasa" to "the road home to Wakasa"? Then the reader won't feel that he/she is missing out by
not knowing the significance of Wakasa?

Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Lake » Sun May 05, 2013 12:19 am

Hi Geoff,

Good to know my explanation makes sense now. I'll take you suggestion to add 'home' in the line you mentioned.
Will work out a note later.

Thank you very much!
Lake
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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Antcliff » Sun May 05, 2013 10:51 am

Hi Lake

Your explanation makes things clearer, yes.

I wonder if it would be an idea to use "I plead" rather than "the pilgrim pleads" in st.3 because otherwise someone...like me...would wonder whether the pilgrim is the same person talking at the start of the first two stanzas? Or am I confused still. :D

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Lake » Mon May 06, 2013 5:46 pm

Antcliff wrote: I wonder if it would be an idea to use "I plead" rather than "the pilgrim pleads" in st.3 because otherwise someone...like me...would wonder whether the pilgrim is the same person talking at the start of the first two stanzas? Or am I confused still. :D
Ah, Seth. I can only tell that the poem still confues you. In S3, the narrator heard the conversation between the scholar/haijin(maybe I should get rid of one name) and the pilgrim.

I probably need to add something more to make it less confusing.

Thanks again.
Lake
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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Antcliff » Tue May 07, 2013 10:04 am

In S3, the narrator heard the conversation between the scholar/haijin(maybe I should get rid of one name) and the pilgrim.
O, I finally see, Lake. There is quite a big cast of speakers in this. :lol:

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Does this sound clearer?

Post by Lake » Thu May 09, 2013 4:49 pm

Still I Can Soar

My arms sneer at me: can you fly like
migrating birds across seven continents,
against avalanche, snow storms, wind and waves,
then ballet-dance on the spring river?

No, I cannot fly.

My body flinches: can you jump like
an Olympian from the ten-meter platform—
run up, leap, somersault, twist and turn, and enter
the water like a needle without splash?

No, I cannot dive.

My eyes hear at a cross road:
A chickadee has gone into the travel casket;
(raising his head, the traveler simply pleads)
I'd like to know the road home to Wakasa.
Clapping his hands, the haijin points the way.

My ears watch an art exhibition:
Tell me, when did you start drawing?
Sixty. Replies the artist. Why?
Sixty!That’s right, that‘s right! Look,
each color, each line is saturated with life.


At this moment, I am convinced.
Aim, then, to be aimless.
Seek neither publication, nor acclaim:
Submit without submitting.

一 Cameron

Antcliff
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Re: At this moment, I am convinced

Post by Antcliff » Thu May 09, 2013 10:40 pm

Lake,
I am still pondering the significance of the switch from what might be expected "eyes hear + ears watch".

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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