Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~breaking the silence

Absorbed, in its world, one frog


Breaking the silence
Of an ancient pond,
A frog jumped into water —
A deep resonance.

Matsuo Bashô: Frog Haiku translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa 

I fear I may be drowning us all in silence, so I will take a break until Monday.  Until then

 “Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.”


48 thoughts on “Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~breaking the silence

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Lavinia. I don’t see little green frogs in my garden but my sister, who lives in tropical Cairns, often has lovely green tree frogs in her garden. They are gorgeous to look at it.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Su. There was some peace to be had, sometimes just in ordinary things like hanging out the clothes, picking blackcurrants, and stirring the porridge pot.

  1. thecontentedcrafter

    Ever since I was very young I have known my internal silence as a deep well where all thing go to be healed. I still place my deepest hurts and great losses there. Your choice of translation is therefore perfect to me. And I love that dish – isn’t it beautiful. And your few flowers – perfection! I’m enjoying the daily inspiration – but have a good break over the weekend.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Our internal silences often carry a heavy load. Which is another reason I thought it would be a good idea to take a break, and to allow our silences to rest. I am so pleased though that you are enjoying my daily posts.

  2. Steve Schwartzman

    What a great compendium of translations for that haiku. The version you chose is one of only two with more lines than the standard three (the other being a limerick). Can you say why you chose to display the one you did?

    And what a range of wordiness in the translations (or as Liz said above, interpretations), from the minimal “pond / frog / plop!” to the wordiness of “A lonely pond in age-old stillness sleeps . . . / Apart, unstirred by sound or motion . . . till / Suddenly into it a lithe frog leaps.”

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is a fascinating sample of some of the many translations of the Basho haiku. I enjoyed the commentary, too. The translation I chose is not my favourite but the words “breaking silence’ suited my post. I like this translation best:
      The old pond;
      a frog jumps in —
      the sound of the water.

      I also enjoyed the parody by Gibon Sengai
      The old pond!
      Bashô jumps in,
      The sound of the water!

  3. Liz Gauffreau

    Thanks for posting the link to the page of translations, or should I say interpretations, of the frog haiku. It gave me insight into the translation process that I didn’t have before. (Every time I read a translated poem, I feel I’m missing out by not knowing the original language it was written in. Sound plays such an important role in conveying meaning in poetry.)

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      My daughter would agree with you. She gets very frustrated with various translations from Ancient Greek and Latin because they don’t capture the right sound. She has done some wonderful translations, although, of course, I have no way to compare them to the original verses, being completely ignorant of Ancient Greek and Latin. I have great admiration for skilled translators.

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Good advice, GP. But, sad to say, I have spent some of my weekend undoing the naughtiness of a hacker who got into my Messenger account. Grrrr. No real harm done, but it was annoying.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Kerry. I’ll do my best. I am making some porridge for a pre-bedtime supper. Stirring porridge is a very quiet and peaceful thing to do, until it starts plopping!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.