Monthly Poem and Pictograph in EL, [the river] by Jim Kacian (October 2006)

. . . .
This is an EL (Earth Language) experimental page to enjoy
the image of a haiku/short poem originally in English/Japanese.
When you can't see the Japanese parts, please don't mind and just skip those parts , or see here to view Japanese

This time, this page is long, talking about a way of global haiku.

When I was living in a village in Japan, a small river was flowing right next to our house.
It was usually singing, and so clean that you couldn't scoop the river water without getting killifish in a bucket.
This haiku brought me back to that riverside back in time.
I used to watch the river from the second floor window at night.
There were lots of fragments of the shiny moon on the surface.
The shapes were never the same, restlessly gathering and parting without flowing away.
The river looked like it was struggling to be one with the moon
by making the fragments into one in its body.

the river
the river makes
of the moon

When I found this haiku,
because of repeating the phrase "the river," I imagined the river at different  moments:
a scene with a pattern of floating fragments of the moon,
another pattern a moment later, and next....
The picture started to move restlessly and endlessly, just like the river in my memory.

One evening when my son was two years old, looking at the moon from our window,
he improvised a song: "Mr. wind, Mr. wind, round, Ms. Moon... pooong!"
(It's strange in English) It didn't even make a sentence,
but I felt the feeling of the wind wanting to hug the moon.
This haiku let me recall that scene, too.

I wasn't sure of the meaning of the English phrase "make(s) of" in this haiku;
so I asked to the author Mr. Jim Kacian if my understanding was wrong.
He gave me his permission to use his haiku through my understanding here
together with his kind information:

"Make of" is idiomatic in english
we "make something of" when we imagine or create the completion of
something in our mind for example, I might think a woman has some feelings
for me, when in fact she does not it exists only in my mind,
but that might be enough for me to act on it--to make something of it.

The following was written about this haiku by Richard Gilbert :
In this unusual example, the (seeming) juxtaposition of the first-line
fragment with the following phrase is irrupted as one discovers the
first line is not the alpha but rather the omega-point of the poem
(reversing semantic expectation). A second reading may yield a sense of
three disjunct fragments without juxtaposition (a poem made only of
fragments). Considering the last two lines as the phrasal element (the
superposed section), out of what seems textually and imagistically to be
two rivers and their juxtaposition, a fusion arises as synthesis: the
naturalistic river in the second line metaphorically A*gmakesA*h of the
moon a second river (the river of the first line); finally, natural and
metaphoric images combine, resolve and fuse into the traditional image
of moon on water: moon river on A*griverA*h river. In this way, a poem
which at first glance may seem elemental, primitive and static releases
a flowing metamorphic power, quite in keeping with its riverine imagery;
a highly nuanced haiku, informing our understanding of the relationship
between realism and metaphor. Experiencing this haiku it is difficult to
understand proscriptions warning against the use of metaphor. Metaphor
has given us some of the best English haiku--usually however, metaphor
must be given through the sense of disjunction rather than through
grammar parts.
my reading of this poem invites you to time-continuation about a small river with sounds;
but Gilbert's brings you to continuous wide space with very calm continental rivers.
A simple structure with elemental words can invite others to infinite time or space;
also bring scenes in different ways depending on the reader's experiences.
This Jim Kacian's style must work nicely with the global world.
(EL ellemental symbols are used allowing some fuzziness of each image: e.g.
(tree) shows a simplified tree shape, but each individual image of a tree must not like this.
EL fundamental symbols are used expecting some differences between individual images,
and allowing the fact. For more specifying, you add or compound another or more simbols.)
This type of  haiku is also possible to be understood in different ways. 

I made this pictograf for Gilbert's image; and the written form is for my image,
but it's not a literary direct translation, but a visual expression without making a sentence.

This haiku got a prize in the Mainichi daily newspaper in 1997.
According to Gilbert's writing, Kacian has published more than a thousand haiku,
being an editor of Frogpond/Journal of the Haiku Society of America.
He is also the publisher of The  Red Moon Press, and promotes global haiku visiting more than a dozen countries.    
Jim sent here the Slovenian and German translations too.
I'm glad to hear that he is interested in Earth Language for global haiku.
He and his group might find another new way of creating poems using EL; I look forward to helping them.
Soon anybody will be able to download the new EL Font from the EL homepage.
Please enjoy the new creations.

The original haiku by Jim Kacian

the river
the river makes
of the moon

The Japanese translation by Akihiro Kitano:

The Slovenian translation by Dimitar Anakiev :

luna naredi

The German translation by Dietmar Tauchner:

der Fluss
was der Fluss
aus dem Mond macht

The pictograph for Gilbert's reading

The EL expression for Yoshiko's reading:

{the nature that looks sometime , and another time }(as the fundamental character): the moon (月)
{ place, water, flowing/wave}: river (川)
{ water, flowing/wave}: flowing (of water) (流れ)
I tried to use an visual technic here, hoping you feel like watching the moon in a stream.
The moon characters in the stream are partially lacking in different way by intention.


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the river
the river makes
of the moon


この俳句を見つけたとき、主語the river(川)の繰り返しがあるお蔭で、

「かぜさんが、かぜさんが まるい、おつきさま!プン」

原文のmakes ofを辞書で調べても複合語として出てなくて、私の日本語訳や解釈が
間違ってるかもしれないと、使用許可を求めるメールで作者のJim Kacianさんに直接お尋ねしました。
Jimさんは、Richard Gilbert さんのこの句の解説も送ってくださいました。



この 恋 は、一緒になりたい という
もだえ のような気持ち、と私は、勝手に想像しました。
砕かれた月影が、一刻も早く元の満月に なりたい、という もだえ 

そしてGilbertさんによると、作者Jim Kacianさんは千を越える英語俳句を発表され、
Frogpond (Journal of the Haiku Society of America)の編集者、
またThe Red Moon Pressの出版もなさりながら、俳句の指導に世界中を飛び回っておられるとか。

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