11/04/2007

Autumn deepens (aki fukashi)

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Autumn deepens (aki fukashi)
***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late Autumn
***** Category: Season


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Explanation

autumn is deep (aki fukashi 秋深し (あきふかし)
..... aki takenawa 秋闌(あきたけなわ)
deep autumn, shinshuu 深秋(しんしゅう)

autumn is becoming deeper, aki takuru 秋闌くる(あきたくる)
..... aki fukuru 秋更くる(あきふくる)
aki fukamu 秋深む(あきふかむ)


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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way



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HAIKU


CLICK for original LINK . 哲仙の水墨画

秋深き 隣は何を する人ぞ
aki fukaki tonari wa nani o suru hito zo

Matsuo Basho, (26th day, Ninth Month, 1694)
He wrote this haiku a few weeks before his death. He was in Osaka, too ill to attend a poetry gathering at a disciple's house, and sent this poem.


There are various translations of this famous haiku.


autumn deep
the neighbor, what
is it he does?


© William J. Higginson
Paterson Pieces: Poems, 1969-1979



Autumn deepening –
my neigbour
how does he live, I wonder?

(© Haruo Shirane)


Deep is autumn,
and in its deep air
I somehow wondered
who my neighbour is.

(© Nobuyuki Yuasa)

Autumn deepens –
the man next door, what
does he do for a living?

(© Makoto Ueda)

It is deep autumn
my neighbor
how does he live, I wonder?

(© R.H.Blyth)


Autumn's end –
how does my
neighbour live?

(© Lucien Stryck)

In my dark winter
lying ill, at last I ask
how fares my neighbour.

(© Peter Beilenson)


The depth of autumn:
still my neighbour gives no sign of life.
I wonder how he lives?

(© Harold Stewart)

This deep in autumn,
next door what
do the people do?

(© Thomas McAuley)


Близится зима –
не мешало бы узнать
как живёт сосед.

© dmitri smirnov

.. .. ..

Autumn deepens —
The man next door, what
does he do for a living?

Barbara Louise Ungar


Deep autumn—
my neighbor,
how does he live, I wonder?

the zen frog


... ...


L’automne profond —
quant à mon voisin, que fait
donc cet homme au juste ?

nekojita.free.fr


en plein automne
que fait-il
mon voisin

magoo

... ...

Meio do outono
O que estará fazendo
Aquele meu vizinho?

Andrei Cunha


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Basho uses the form FUKAKI instead of FUKASHI.fukashi would indicate a cut, a break after line one, as is expressed in some translations here with the dash or other means. With a break, the meaning would tend to the more negative feeling ... who cares about the neighbours ...
By using FUKAKI, however, there is no explicit cut and the meaning leads over to the next two lines. The meaning now leads to a friendly warm wondering about the neighbours.

Sometimes the meaning of a haiku is better shown by not using a cut, but by combining the three sections into one idea.

aki fukaki tonari ...
next to me, there is autumn coming to its end ...

Basho lived in a place where the space to the neighbuor was just one thin wall and he could hear everything from next-door (next-wall, so to say). But beyond the thin wall, Basho could also hear the deepening autumn as his neighbour, so to day, in space.


autumn deepens
and I wonder,
what is my neighbour doing?


Tr. Gabi Greve, inspired by Hasegawa Kai

CLICK for original LINK
Peeking in© Photo Gabi Greve, 2007

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

Daniel Gallimore on this haiku
WHR 2000


Melopoeia
Basho is renowned - according to Shirane and other Japanese scholars from the Meiji Era onwards - for the musicality of his style, and so it is to Shirane’s translation of a poem written by Basho in the autumn of 1694, shortly before he died, that I turn for an example of melopoeia (i.e. musicality).

Shirane cites this poem as an example of the return to the low style which characterises Basho’s last years. In the first part of his career the poet had sought to transcend his humble origins through study of classical, medieval and Chinese poetics but (in the words of Shirane), he returns in his last years ‘to the exploration of various aspects of Tokugawa commoner life and language.’ What Shirane does not mention, however, perhaps because it is a commonplace of both the high and low styles, is the poem’s remarkable musicality:

Aki fukaki
Tonari wa nani o
Suru hito zo

Autumn deepening -
My neighbour
How does he live, I wonder?



This is a haiku which can survive even the worst of translations, which Shirane’s certainly is not. For even if we do not know its context we can immediately appreciate the implicit image of the poet reaching out for neighbourly warmth as the days get shorter and colder.

That is one way of reading the poem, an instinctive one perhaps, but in fact the poem is a good deal more subtle. A simple contrast of cold and warmth would be enough to constitute a phrase in some extended lyric, but we know that good haiku - especially those by Basho - offer more than simple antitheses, and this is a point which is particularly important to translators trying to render some of that musical complexity.

The first phrase is phonologically closed: the rhyme on aki, the crisp k and delicate i sounds, describe the sweetly relentless onset of autumn and (to admit the contextual metaphor) of Basho’s declining years. The two na sounds are clammy, moist; the poet weakens. But the o at the turn of the line is a very different, majestic sound that is repeated in the emphatic particle zo.
In other words, the solution to that invasive, get-you-down clamminess is not necessarily to visit his neighbour but to go on a journey - as (in a sense) he has been doing throughout his career - to wander, to guess, to allow the poetry to justify his existence. What better way after all to face old age than to carry on using one’s mind?

The final zo ends the poem on a note of triumph, telling the world that he is still a haijin after all, and in fact the poem was submitted as the hokku for a poetry session which Basho was too sick to attend.

The English language, on the whole, lacks the capacity of Japanese for compression of sounds, which pushes Shirane to the other extreme of opening up the spaces between the words and foregrounding their denotative meanings. The diphthongs in the first line (‘au-’ and ‘dee’) establish the contemplative pace. The detachment of ‘my neighbour’ puts the neighbour in mind (makes him the object), since this is not an antisocial poem, and then those four monosyllables - ‘how’, ‘does’, ‘he’, ‘live’ - offer a third aspect, communicating the mystery of the neighbour’s existence.

The phrase is also an effectively ambiguous version of nani o suru; both questions could refer to a multiplicity of activities. Shirane does not reproduce the sound values of the original but he does maintain the tripartite diction.

. . . . .


snow in my valley -
what are my poor neighbours
doing right now?


. Gabi Greve - after the BIG earthquake  
Big Earthquake on March 11, 2011


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fall deepens
the neighbor next door
grills sauries


Satoru Kanematsu

When a haikuist incorporates another artist's melodic line into their poem, it is considered a compliment and a tribute. Taking this idea a little further and almost in parody, in his haiku above Satoru Kanematsu answered a question master poet Matsuo Basho posed a few weeks before his death in 1694 when he wrote:

Fall deepens
what are the neighbors
doing now?


Narrative poems like this rely on the grammar of the sentence to provide the literal meaning of the poem, and rely on its irony to point to the pathos of a dying man not knowing what his neighbors are up to.

Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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秋深し 大地に下りる 竜の枝

deepening autumn -
Dragon branches reaching
down to mother earth

© Photo and Haiku: Gabi Greve

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autumn deepens -
the spider still weaves
sunbeams


© Photo and Haiku: Gabi Greve




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autumn deepens -
this internet pilgrim
on the narrow road


. Gabi : Dragon Temples September 2012 .




- Shared at Joys of Japan, September 2012 -

autumn deepens -
what are the neighbours
doing online or real


Hideo Suzuki




autumn deepens
ripples echo on the pond
froggy has email


Chris Loft



शरद ऋतु गहराई
और मुझे आश्चर्य ,
क्या कर रहा है मेरा पड़ोसी?


Hindi translation by Charan Gill



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autumn deepens -
leaves illustrate gradation
coloring from the top


- Shared by Hideo Suzuki -
Joys of Japan, October 2012



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Related words

***** Autumn (aki) Japan, worldwide

***** . Autumn dusk (aki no kure) Japan

***** Autumn comes to an end .. Japan. Many related kigo

***** . Autumn Melancholy Europe


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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Matsuo Basho, (26th day, Ninth Month, 1694)
a few days before his death

AUTUMN DEEPENS...

it sounds like Basho is feeling a little sorry for himself... "how can the rest of the world keep on going...while I lie here dying...

Gabi Greve said...

Dear Gabi San,


Thank you for this information on using the break and not using it. I am yet to master
when to and when not to use it...

Anything you would recommend I read?

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Please check this
http://haikutopics.blogspot.com/2006/06/kireji.html

GABI

Ella Wagemakers said...

autumn deepens ...
on the mat an invitation
to the labour union

Ella Wagemakers
*this was written at work ... :>)

anonymous said...

I found your discussion to be very interesting. You have changed the way I read one of my favourite haiku. Thank-you.
E.Z.

Grace Galton said...

autumn deepening—
another brown spot
on the poet’s hand