Friday, February 01, 2008

Santoka - a response

climbing
all my mountains
tireless wind

empty
as I walk to the sea
I fill with water


on the path
only the autumn moon
and my sandals

no hope
of finding my mother
a lie I like to tell

the house
that knew my childhood
I have burned it

on the road
talking to myself
a poplar tree listens


my bed
at the edge of moonlight
no dreams come



These were written on 01 February in response to haiku written by poet Santoka Taneda, which I read in his collection 'For All My Walking' (translations by Burton Watson). They have been published online at http://haikutopics.blogspot.com/2006/09/santoka-and-sake.html . Santoka's sake poems may be well-known, but his poems on loneliness reflect a sincerity and openness of feeling that is not easy to find. He wrote of his life and lived it like a poem.

4 comments:

Dana Maria Onica said...

Inspired by Santoka or not, this is only a secondary fact.
The poems are splendid, full of suggestions, images and meanings, a true measure of your talent and sensitivity!

If I am allowed to make a little suggestion - I would use a "cut marker" in order to delimit the fragment and the phrase of the poem.

Thank you very much, dear Ella.

Warm wishes,
Dana-Maria

Dina E. Cox said...

Oh Ella, I do like these, all of them; they are both quiet, and striking, all at once.... a very powerful sequence... thanks for sharing them....

Dina.

Bill said...

These are very good, ella. They have the santoka spirit, but they are Ella too.

Let me recommend *Santoka: Grass and Tree Cairn*, in which Hiroaki Sato translates santoka'a haiku as one-liners. His translations strike me as sharper than Watson's. Having no Japanese, I can't vouch for their accuracy.

I've never been able to get ahold of John Stevenson's book of Santoka
translations.

Best, Bill K

Patrick Sweeney said...

The translations are fairly clean and capture the feeling...

Cheers,
Patrick Sweeney