Haiku #4

Haiku 4, EN

I really enjoy writing metahaiku, meaning haiku that talk about themselves. What I enjoy even more is avidly searching the best way to translate them since, quite often, I prefer writing the original in English and then returning to my mother tongue, Greek. Once again I attempted a French translation, just to keep my mind busy.

A short form of Japanese poetry, haiku traditionally consist of 17 syllables, divided into three phrases (5-7-5). Whilst they used to take nature as their subject, this has changed over time.

Advertisements

Haiku #3

Haiku 3, EN

Inspired by one of the most famous quotes (and films, actually) about translation, this is one of my favourite haiku. I really enjoy how “lost in translation”, such a short yet meaningful phrase, consists of 5 syllables creating the perfect ending for this poem. This is also my first attempt of self-translating a haiku into French (for my French-speaking friends).

A short form of Japanese poetry, haiku traditionally consist of 17 syllables, divided into three phrases (5-7-5). Whilst they used to take nature as their subject, this has changed over time.

Haiku #2

Haiku 2

The reason why I enjoy so much writing haiku lies in how concentrated they are. With just seventeen syllables at the disposal of the writer, only what is necessary will remain. At the same time translating them is a real challenge: their form may remain the same, but the differences between languages sometimes make it impossible to transfer both meaning and style into the target language. How can I transfer the alliteration of the letter “s” to Greek, when a five-word English phrase consists of seven syllables, the same amount of syllables needed for only two Greek words?

A short form of Japanese poetry, haiku traditionally consist of 17 syllables, divided into three phrases (5-7-5). Whilst they used to take nature as their subject, this has changed over time.

Paris-Athènes – V. Alexakis

Alexakis V. (1989), Paris-Athènes, Paris: Le Seuil

Vassilis Alexakis was born in Athens in 1943 and, at the age of seventeen, went to Lille (France) to study journalism. Since then, he has divided his life into two capital cities, Athens and Paris (to which he moved in 1968, because of the Greek military junta) or, more accurately, into two different cultures. He’s possibly the most famous Greek author whose works are written and published primarily in a “foreign” language, French, and then self-translated into his “mother” tongue, Greek.

Continue reading

Haiku #1

Haiku 1

Due to lack of both time and inspiration, I’ve decided to publish something “old” and introduce a new category, in which I’ll be sharing with you some haiku that I’ve written in English and translated into Greek (or vice versa).

A short form of Japanese poetry, haiku traditionally consist of 17 syllables, divided into three phrases (5-7-5). Whilst they used to take nature as their subject, this has changed over time.