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triveni spotlight: 1st April 2023

triveni spotlight A FEATURE EVERY ALTERNATE DAY! hosts: Teji Sethi and Kala Ramesh GUEST EDITOR: Ashish Narain



hidden in the bushes,

do the tea-pickers too hear it?

cuckoo


Matsuo Basho

tr. By D.L. Barnhill

In David Landis Barnhill. 2004. Basho’s Haiku: Selected Poems by Matsuo Basho. State University of New York. Albany



This month is going to be a treat for our members. _()_ Thank you so much, Ashish.

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11 Comments


Keith Evetts
Keith Evetts
Apr 02, 2023

kogakure te / chatsumi mo kikii ya / hototogisu

hide oneself / tea picker also hear <> / cuckoo

1694—summer. Reichold gives as her finished translation:


hiding himself

can the tea pickers hear

the cuckoo


and comments:

"The combination of tea pickers and the cuckoo bird was a novel pairing." Other translations (courtesy of Terebess): Hidden in the trees / even the tea-leaf pickers must / be listening to the cuckoo! (Haruo Shirane) Hidden-in-tree / tea-pickers also hear! / cuckoo (Haruo Shirane)

Hidden by the trees, / Do the maidens picking tea, hear you, too, / O, cuckoo? ( Thomas McAuley) Hiding itself among the trees / Tea pickers also hear its call? / A little cuckoo. (Takafumi Saito & William R.…


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Keith Evetts
Keith Evetts
Apr 03, 2023
Replying to

Thank you, Kala. ...ah, well, is beauty different for all, or is there some universal quality — that is part of Basho's question. Does it depend on accumulated cultural associations? Personal experiences? Or all those and more. I think the hardest to account for is beauty in music; and here we have a bittersweet song of a bird. And why is it, what makes it, bittersweet? Does someone hearing the hototogisu's song for the very first time, with no earlier familiarity, personal or cultural reference point, not knowing what produces it (for it is 'hidden') find it beautiful? I suspect that they do....

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Apr 01, 2023

hidden in the bushes,

do the tea-pickers too hear it?

cuckoo


Nice thought but I fumble on L2 - each time I read it.

Without 'the' it would have been perfect.


hidden in the bushes,

do tea-pickers too hear it?

cuckoo


But who can find fault with one of the best translators? I like it without the 'the' in L2 and now the haiku sings for me.

There's so much internal rhythm now!

It could be just me.


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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Apr 04, 2023
Replying to

I like 'too' where is it given. When I read it out aloud - the 'too' stick out, which it does usually when we have it at the end. Just my take.


hidden in the bushes,

do tea-pickers too hear it?

cuckoo


hidden in the bushes,

do tea-pickers hear it too?

cuckoo


??


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Probably a lesser-known one by Basho. Great selection. The question haiku are always enigmatic and haunting!

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Apr 01, 2023

Thank you Ashish! We can only sight the moving leaves not the sound.

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mona bedi
mona bedi
Apr 01, 2023

A question mark in a haiku has always been a matter of doubt for me. Great ku Ashish. Thanks for sharing 😊

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