haiku-usa

A blog devoted mainly to haiku and senryu and to thoughts about, and inspired by, haiku and senryu.

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Location: New York, New York

Haiku is to poetry as espresso is to coffee.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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in the nursing home
she talks about the brother
no one talks about

dans la maison de retraite
elle parle de le frère*
dont personne ne parle
First published in Temps Libre; French translation by Serge Tome

*I have posted this as it appears in the original translation. Both I and many visitors feel it should be "elle parle du frere."

11 Comments:

Blogger polona said...

a 5-7-5-er, and a good one at that!

as far as my french goes, de+le should be contracted into du, so i'd render L2 as:
"elle parle du frere"

(but who am i to argue with a native speaker if i can't even find the accented e on my keyboard)

8:34 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

I like this haiku, Bill. I think it is very sad, great, authentic. I love the French version, too. I have been learning French recently. When I started I did not know it would be so difficult :) But this is very good exercise for any brain (I have no particular problems so far :)
Best regards. Iris

8:43 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

That's how I'd do it, too, Polona. But I don't presume to correct the translator, who is Belgian (Does that make a difference?)

If you do find that key, tell me where to look.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Frank... said...

Most families unfortunately have a member that one one mentions? Elegantly put Bill...

9:25 AM  
Blogger jem said...

Lovely. Perhaps one of the consolations of old age is being allowed to mention the unmentionable?

4:11 AM  
Blogger Monika said...

Yes, a very touching haiku, Bill. As for the french translation, Polona is absolutely right (and I'm sure Serge Tomé'will agree without hesitation !)

à la maison de retraite (or : maison de repos, or : clinique)
elle parle du frère
dont personne ne parle

12:19 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks for those thoughtful comments, Frank and Jem.

Thanks, Monika. I guess we are all agreed on "du."

7:27 PM  
Blogger John McDonald said...

love it Bill
john

2:28 AM  
Blogger Danièle Duteil said...

A splendid one !

10:03 AM  
Blogger Marcel Peltier said...

Write :

"elle parle du frère",

it's better. Thanks for this good haïku.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Excellent!

I would also have thought de + le = du but maybe they do it differently in Belgium....

5:31 AM  

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