I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
Following are several translations
of the 'Old Pond' poem, which may be
the most famous of all haiku:
mizu no oto
Thy beauty haunts me heart and soul,
Oh, thou fair Moon, so close and bright;
Thy beauty makes me like the child
That cries aloud to own thy light:
The little child that lifts each arm
To press thee to her bosom warm.
Though there are birds that sing this night
With thy white beams across their throats,
Let my deep silence speak for me
What happens in heaven?
Will I sit on a cloud?
Is walking or talking
Or jumping allowed?
Will I be on my own
Or with some of my friends?
Does it go on for ever
Or eventually end?
As I lie at rest on a patch of clover
In the Western Park when the day is done.
I watch as the wild black swans fly over
With their phalanx turned to the sinking sun;
And I hear the clang of their leader crying
To a lagging mate in the rearward flying,
And they fade away in the darkness dying,
Where the stars are mustering one by one.
O ye wild black swans, 'twere a world of wonder
For a while to join in your westward flight,
From my front porch I hear, the music of evening guitars,
Flowing softly on breezes, under the magic of pearl stars,
Busy goldfinches flit singing, and I can glimpse red Mars,
Mellow music of summer, and moonlight's rapture is ours.
Nature draws upon its beauty, from deepest of reservoirs,
Adding to the happy heart's memory, with lasting powers,
A summer night of music, and frog and cricket repertoires,
Such days will be remembered, in hued autumn's memoirs.
I was a famous conductor, and performing beautiful music was my joy,
As diamond sunshine, to pervade darkness, finds any means to employ.
Music had long been a part of me, in that I sang long before conducting,
Like the famed adult bluebird choirs, lead the songs they are instructing.
My much loved work kept me busy. Still, I loved every precious moment,
As wild, crazy, summer colors dash afar, with no cries of encroachment.
But I had a personal favorite song, which I loved more than any other,
The static inside my head,
Will it ever stop?
What I wouldn’t give,
To hear your melody,
You sweet little bird.
Through the walls,
And the curtains,
Your merry music,
Greets me in the morn,
The beautiful melody of her words
Slowly drift away while I’m lost at sea.
Sailing alone, surrounded by silence,
But even that, in time, departs from me.
Dark whispers slowly creep into my mind,
Whispers that transform into a chorus
Singing a sweet symphony of sadness,
About what could and should have been, for us.
His body against mine,
A touch tender and sweet
I elicit intimate sounds
To match out tapping feet
A dance made for just two,
Intimately executed in a graceful bliss
This perfection mastered by few
A sight simply hard to resist
As saccharine sounds fill the air
And sentimental memories flood the mind