Written January 1718 in the Chiosk at Pera, overlooking Constantinople
Give me Great God (said I) a Little Farm
in Summer shady, & in Winter warm
where a cool spring gives birth to a clear brook
by Nature slideing down a mossy Rock
Not artfully in Leaden Pipes convey'd
Or greatly falling in a forc'd Cascade
Pure & unsully'd winding throu' ye Shade.
All bounteous Heaven has added to my Praier
a softer Climate and a purer Air.
They paddle with staccato feet
In powder-pools of sunlight,
Small blue busybodies
Strutting like fat gentlemen
With hands clasped
Under their swallowtail coats;
And, as they stump about,
Their heads like tiny hammers
Tap at imaginary nails
In non-existent walls.
1 Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knife us ...
2 Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent ...
3 Low drooping flares confuse our memory of the salient ...
4 Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous,
5 But nothing happens.
6 Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire.
7 Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.
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
An apple blossom respite, among the wild springtime blooms,
Silence in hot sunshine golden, a pause in the familiar tunes,
Muted, pretty purple martins, in the season of endless green,
Indulge in a quiet spell, where teal sky and treetops convene.
Pretty blooms pause on runways, in the lazy style of summer,
Red butterflies erratically fly, to beats of a different drummer,
Lethargy now has precious time, caught within its silken grip,
Like silver moon and twinkling stars, in the endless courtship.
Shadows in the park...
Must be a sunny day...
Always wearing black...
Never having much to say...
Shadows never laugh...
They never, ever cry...
Sometimes they disappear...
If the suns not shining in the sky...
It's with such a heavy heart
that I say my prayers today...
Our friends and family are here one second,
only to slip quietly away...
Depression is all around us,
touching me and touching you...
So I'm asking our Heavenly Father,
please help us in this world of blue...
I was pretty talkative, and spent all of my days chit chattering,
Like galaxies of glinting stars, all the dark universe scattering.
I was always on the move, and loved cacophonic sights and sounds,
Like the deep thrill of excitement, when the carnival is in town!
People loved my easy laughter, and they said I was a lot of fun,
Like the fun of a storm's passing, when greeting the citrine sun!
I did not like the silence, for the silence would make me blue;
flowers in a vase
plum colored near bowl of grapes
middle of the night
charming fruit basket
of apples peaches and limes
in shadows of time
corn carrots and beans
on a farm table waiting