Archive for December, 2018


summer haiku d’été – Vincent van Gogh


summer haiku d’été - Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh
at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
on a starry night 

Van Gogh starry night haiku620

Vincent van Gogh
à Saint-Rémy-de-Provence -
nuit étoilée
 
Richard Vallance Janke

Vincent van Gogh painted “Starry Night” in 1889 during his stay at the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near  Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
Vincent van Gogh a peinturé “Nuit étoilée” en 1889 pendant son séjour à l’asile de Saint-Paul-de-Mausole près de Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.   


summer haiku d’été – cormorant diving for fish = cormoran qui plonge 

cormorant
diving for fish –
on target... or not

cormorant haiku

cormoran
qui plonge aux poissons –
il trouve sa cible

Richard Vallance Janke
 


winter haiku d’hiver – chickadee huddled = mésange à tête noire

chickadee huddled
in a frozen pine ...
she longs for morning

chickadee huddled in a frozen pine620

mésange à tête noire
blottie dans un pin glacé ...
elle cherche le matin

Richard Vallance 

... Not that that would do much good, but at least she hopes against all hope.
... En dépit de la situation triste, elle espère contre tout espoir. 


summer haiku d’été – buzzard soaring = buse survolant

buzzard soaring 
over Anza Borrego,
spying a snake 

buzzard

buse survolant
Anza Borrego,
voyant un serpent 

Richard Vallance

winter haiku d’hiver – great horned owl = grand duc d'Amérique 

great horned owl
eyes on the snow,
out on a limb *

* pun

great horned owl haiku

grand duc d'Amérique 
scrutant la neige,
royauté d’hiver 

Richard Vallance

The texts of the English and French haikus are entirely different, because it is impossible to render the pun “out on a limb” in French. Les textes des haikus en anglais et en français ne correspondent pas du tout, car il est impossible de traduire l'expression “out on a limb” en français. 


SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

Sir Leslie Stephen, Alexander Pope:

“It is hard to understand at the present day the audacity which could lead a man so ill qualified in point of classical acquirements to undertake such a task. And yet Pope undoubtedly achieved, in some true sense, an astonishing success. He succeeded commercially; for Lintot, after supplying the subscription copies gratuitously, and so losing the cream of the probable purchasers, made a fortune by the remaining sale. He succeeded in the judgment both of the critics and of the public of the next generation. Johnson calls the Homer ‘the noblest version of poetry the world has ever seen.’ Gray declared that no other translation would ever equal it, and Gibbon that it had every merit except that of faithfulness to the original. This merit of fidelity, indeed, was scarcely claimed by any one. Bentley’s phrase—’a pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not…

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winter haiku d’hiver – snow tumbling off lamp posts 

snow tumbling
off lamp posts in the lane –
fading footfalls

haiku snowstorm street lights

neige en chute
des réverbères dans l’allée –
pas passés

Richard Vallance


winter haiku – fresh snow on the wolf’s brow = nouvelle neige sur le front du loup

fresh snow
on the wolf’s brow –
killer blue eyes

haiku snow on the wolfs brow

nouvelle neige
sur le front du loup –
yeux bleus meurtriers

Richard Vallance


winter haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French, snow on the summit, with the English version below and all of the other languages on the haiku image of the mountain and the church:

snow on the summit
of a Cretan mountain −
a church

snow-on-mountain-2017-kalo-horio

Richard Vallance

REPOST from 2017


winter haiku d’hiver – wolf peering = loup derrière

wolf peering
from a snowy bush –
peek-a-boo

wolf bush haiku

loup derrière
un arbuste enneigé –
jouant à coucou

Richard Vallance


Senryu – lotus illuminated = lotus illuminé

Bahá’i temple  
all humankind lotus
illuminated

senryu bahai temple

temple Bahá’i 
l’humanité lotus
illuminé

Richard Vallance

Set in the Andean foothills, just beyond Santiago, Chile, the Bahá’i Temple of South America is a domed, luminous structure echoing the rolling typography of the mountains where it is located.

This senryu is based on the famous quote of Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), founder of the Bahá’i religion, whose name means “The Glory of God”, as follows:The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”  

What is a senryu? 

A Senryu (also called human haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables (5, 7, 5) or 17 syllables in all. A Senryu is usually written in the present tense and only references to some aspect of human nature or emotions, or a Japanese poem similar in structure to haiku, but more concerned with human nature, and is often humorous or satiric -- usually in three lines of seventeen kana.   This senryu is concerned with human emotion, or more accurately, human spirituality. It is not meant to be humorous or satirical. Unlike haiku, senryu do not contain season words = kigo. 


SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

Since Erik posted about Moonface’s Album of Songs about the Minotaur, I have been listening to it while driving my children to school. (They love it. They keep asking to listen to it. I think I have ruined them). The actual material about the Minotaur from ancient remains is mostly about Theseus. Here are some passages about Pasiphae and the Minotaur.

Hesiod, Fr. 145.13–17

“When he looked in her eyes he longed for her
[and she gave herself over to the bull]
After she was impregnated, she gave birth to a powerful son to Minos,
A wonder to see: for he had the appearance of man
Down to his feet, but a bull’s head grew on top.”

τῆς δ’ ἄρ’ [ἐν ὀ]φθαλμοῖσιν̣ ἰ̣δὼν ἠράσ̣[σατο
†ταύρωι̣.[…]ρ̣ι̣μενησ̣κ̣α̣μ̣ε̣ρ̣μ̣ιδαο̣τα̣[†
ἣ δ’ ὑποκ̣[υσα]μένη Μίνωι τέκε κα[ρτερὸν υἱόν,
θαῦμα ἰ[δεῖν·] σ̣α μὲν γὰρ ἐπ̣έ̣κ̣λ̣ι̣ν̣[εν δέμας ἀνδρὶ
ἐς πόδα̣[ς], α̣ὐ̣τ̣ὰρ ὕ̣π̣ε̣ρθε κάρ̣η τ̣α̣[ύροιο πεφύκει

Suda, Epsilon…

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winter haiku d’hiver – black wolf = loup noir


winter haiku d’hiver – black wolf = loup noir

black wolf
in a snowfall 
wondering why?

black wolf in the snow haiku

loup noir
dans une chute de neige
qui rêve pourquoi ?

Richard Vallance


Egyptian summer haiku de l’été égyptien 

little egret
on the Nile -
sounds of rushes

little egret rushes haiku

aigrette garzette
sur le Nil -
sons de joncs

Richard Vallance  


Canadian winter haiku de l’hiver canadien - the reflection = le reflet

the reflection
in the icicle arrow -
wendigo

wendigoicicle

le reflet
dans la flèche du glaçon -
wendigo

Richard Vallance


Canadian winter haiku – the wendigo’s fangs = les crocs du wendigo

the wendigo’s fangs
tearing into flesh  – 
flash-frozen heart

wendigo haiku

les crocs du wendigo
déchirant la chair –
coeur congelé

Richard Vallance


Kigo or season words in Japanese and Canadian haiku:

Traditional Japanese and Canadian haiku share at least a few kigo or season words. But there are many Canadian kigo which are not found in Japanese haiku at all, and one of these is the Canadian winter kigo, wendigo. But what is the wendigo? The Wendigo is said to be a Algonquian native legend. There are many different stories associated with this mystic being. Is it a spirit? or was it once a human being who was transformed into this being as a result of eating human flesh? The Algonquian native legend states, "It is usually described as a giant with a heart of ice; sometimes it is thought to be entirely made of ice. Its body is skeletal and deformed, with missing lips and toes." And yet another version of this story is retold by the Ojibwa First Nation and it states, "It was a large creature, as tall as a tree, with a lipless mouth and jagged teeth. Its breath was a strange hiss, its footprints full of blood, and it ate any man, woman or child who ventured into its territory." 

In Japanese traditional haiku, The three main strategies (among others) are the use of season words (kigo), cutting words (kireji), and objective sensory imagery. In Japanese haiku, the 500 most common kigo or season words are found here:
http://www.2hweb.net/haikai/renku/500ESWd.html

Just a few of these are:

for spring:
spring night
cherry blossom(s)
tranquil
hazy moon
last frost
spring tide
plow
pinwheel
frog
butterfly

for summer:
hot
summer moon
fragrant breeze
thunder
rainbow
drought
rice planting
silk worm
kingfisher
eel
mosquito

for autumn:
autumn dusk
chilly
fleeting autumn
scarecrow
reed cutting
quail
sandpiper
salmon
apple
grapes

for winter:
short days
clear and cold
freezing
winter moon
frost
snow
ice
icicles
grebe
bed bugs

But while Canadian share at least a few of these kigo or season words, it is more than apparent that most Canadian kigo are not the same as the Japanese ones. For instance, we have:

for spring:
umbrella(s)
pouring rain (especially!)
purple loosestrife
polar bear cubs
geese
tundra
midnight sun


for summer:
midnight sun
maple trees
dappled maples
shooting stars
bald eagle
canyon
stray cat
fireflies
wilderness
gray crane
Wild Rice Moon


for autumn:
MacIntosh, Spartan, Courtland, Royal Gala etc. apples
picking apples
falling leaves
leaves, especially maple leaves
rustling leaves
cabins
mist(y)

for winter:
snow storm (even though this exists in Japanese haiku, it is far more common in Canadian ones)
snow flurries
spruce trees
fir trees
ice storm
icy lake
Blood Wolf Moon
polar bears
wolves
wolverines
Arctic fox
Snowy Owl
(Canadian) lynx
snow hares
chickadees
Northern Lights = Aurora Borealis
wendigo


 

winter haiku – fractured by the snow storm = brisés par la tempête de neige 

trees on the slope
fractured by the snow storm
now a ghost

trees on the slope640

arbres sur la pente
cassés par la tempête de neige 
enfin un fantôme 

Richard Vallance

spring haiku – cherry petals = pétales de cerisiers

cherry petals 
scattered in Edo – 
wind chimes

cherry petals

parsemés à Edo
pétales de cerisiers – 
carillons

Richard Vallance


winter haiku – snow falling = chute de neige

snow falling
on Edo’s rooftops –
flickering lanterns

edo-snow-ukiyoe-7

chute de neige
sur les toits d’Edo –
lanternes vacillantes

Richard Vallance 


winter haiku d’hiver – chickadees = mésanges à tête noire 

there in the spruce tree
mocking chickadees -
prowling wolverine


wolverine

perchés dans le sapin
mésanges à tête noire -
carcajou rôdant

Richard Vallance

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