Monthly Poem and Pictograph in Earth Language - June 2000 -


. . . .
In San Francisco, June is a delightful season. But in my memory of a little village Yakumo in Japan, June has been symbolized by Fireflies in the wet warm air filled with grasses smells. I made a small round cage of bamboo for my little son to put some fireflies which he took. Fireflies are called Hotaru in Japanese. They were almost no weight and sometimes calmly walked around on our hands or arms. The little spot on my son's small hand moved and flickered by the yellow green light like talking. We could read paper by the Hotaru cage lantern, but soon we set them free, wishing to come back every year. I'm glad to know Hotaru are still there by a mail from a friend of mine.
This original English Haiku for this month is from "Haiku/Haibun Posted to the Shiki; List "
(Published in Modern Haiku) Haiku Home Page by Mark Alan Osterbas (06, 29, 1997).

The original Haiku:
his first letter from camp ...
a firefly flickers
beyond the pond

The Japanese translation: 
営舎の彼の初便り
沼越しに蛍ひとつまたたく
(もしかするとボーイスカウトのキャンプかもしれませんが、彼が軍営にいると解釈してみました)

The EL translation:

   

( The contents of brackets on the ends are Japanese )
{20,34}: his  {02,33}: first
{recognition( 15) is covered( 48) and go( 21)}: letter (手紙)
{gc( preposition ), 22( original direction )}: from (〜から)
{ {{60,66}( horn/symbol of fighting ),65( occupation ),27( plural )}: soldiers (軍人)
{67(life), {48( cover ), 10( place ){( building )}: house (家)
* The original poem doesn't say what kind of camp, but I took this way. Compounded characters for "things" are not built so many. Which combination is good for "camp"? Let me know, if you get an inspiration.
01 01: pause
02: one
{ {02,23}( light ), {45,66,69}(  beetle )}: firefly (蛍)
{gd( d-verb symbol ),27( plural )} light{02,23}: repeat to shine: flicker (くり返し光る)
{ vessel( 47 ) of water( 59 ) place( 10 )}: pond (池、沼)
{06( opposite ),10( place )}: the other ( opposite ) side (反対側)
{23,66}: grass (草)
{37,66}: tree (木) ... these are in the pictograph
This page was written by Yoshiko
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Voices from the readers      ( following ** is Yoshiko's additional comment )
#  from the above haiku author Mark Osterbas :
I am honored and delighted that you have chosen one of my haiku for translation into Earth Language.

This is the first time I have been introduced to EL - I will certainly share this with others.
Good luck with the project, and thanks again.

#  from Willow :
.... When i was a child,  fireflies seemed magic because they glow.  They still seem magic!
I've also heard them called "lightning bugs".
Your compounded-character  is very realistic, by good luck!
I enjoyed the translation into Earth-Language;  that's a good way to learn....

** If choose fire {44,52} to compound with 'beetle', 52 is not easy to distinguish from {45,69}; also the light of fire fly doesn't have heat, so 52( : heat ) is not match to 'firefly' anyway.
You know, I intended the shapes of c-characters, not just by good luck. I'll give you some more examples:
{40,45,66}: insect
{{23,66}( grass ),40,45}: grasshopper ( looks different from 'firefly', isn't it? )
{28,45,66}: butterfly
Try like these, many more characters for various insects could be made, matching a meaning to the shape. I tried many, and had much fun. But I think it would be better to wait for settling the kind of complex C-cs until the fundamental parts become more stable.