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triveni spotlight: 29th April 2023

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



for me going

for you staying:

two autumns


Shiki tn. by Patricia Donegan with Yoshie Ishibashi

In Love Haiku: Japanese Poems of Yearning, Passion, and Remembrance. 2010. Shambhala, Boston


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

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6 Comments


Keith Evetts
Keith Evetts
Apr 29, 2023

One of my all-time favourites. I prefer Hass' simplified translation:

I go

you stay;

two autumns


Sometimes mistakenly attributed to Buson. Blyth comments that it was written by Shiki on parting from his friend Soseki, and that it is existentialist in sentiment. For me, it also summons up the (autumnal) sadness of parting, along with the recognition that despite bonds, we are separate people with separate experiences. The parting of friends in autumn is an ancient theme (I think too of the songs in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde / Song of the Earth based on Chinese poetry of the Tang dynasty over a thousand years ago, especially The Solitary in Autumn and The Farewell).


Lastly, reading from the…


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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Apr 29, 2023
Replying to

Beautiful, Keith. I love what you've written.

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Long been one of my favorite haiku—I do’s think anyone has ever written so effectively about loss.

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mona bedi
mona bedi
Apr 29, 2023

A beautiful poignant poem.

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What a wonderful use of kigo. Something has ended allowing the reader plenty of dreaming room.

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Apr 28, 2023

One of my favourites of Shiki. There are a few other versions too in the translations, but L3 - two autumns - is the most unusual and poignant way to express the two different paths a couple could take when separating - through mishap, death or any other cause.

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