(Note: In Japanese, the words for ‘listen’ and ‘chrysanthemum’ have the same sound – ‘kiku’)
I appreciate word plays in any language and marvel at those who can make them in multiple languages.
Marcus – would you write it in Japanese to – phonetically,I mean ?
Dear Leelah – I have a confession to make. My Japanese is actually not very good 🙂 While I do understand a lot of words and can read ‘katakana’ and ‘hiragana,’ my grammar and speaking skills are very poor. This haiku is a case of me knowing the two meanings of ‘kiku’ and then imagining a word play. The funny thing is, while this poem works well in English, it doesn’t translate well into Japanese, because there aren’t enough ‘syllables’ (mora) to make it a proper haiku. In English, we can get away with bending the rules a little, but in Japanese the strict structure is necessary for the rhythm and flow of each piece. I’m not sure, but I think this poem would go something like this:
“Kore wa kiku desu dareka kiku desuka.”
Love it, Marcus. Even the Haiku structure is lost, it feels delicious to say those words to myself out loud. I’ve tried to learn Japanese, but it does not seem to open itself for me. As an artist, I feel very close to Zen and Japanese art – particularly calligraphy
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Japan through a haiku lens
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