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Unread 10-02-2019, 07:57 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Location: San Diego, CA, USA
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Default Tablada Part II

Here's the second part of the series of seven haikais (Mexican haiku) titled "The Shadow-Clock," by José Juan Tablada. This other thread contains the first three haikais.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

7 p. m.

From frogs in the swamp
burst into bloom from puddles
musical bubbles....

8 p. m.

“Rest in peace,” intones the toad
for the unfortunate stars
that fell in his pond.

10 p. m.

The spiteful little owl flings up his raucous laugh at
the Great Horned female flying to the witches’ sabbath.

12 p. m.

The clock sounds like it gnaws
on midnight, and its echo is
the minute-hand of the mouse.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Below I've repeated these verse translations closer to their Spanish originals, notes, and literal English prose cribs.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

7 p.m.

From frogs in the swamp
burst into bloom from puddles
musical bubbles....

De las ranas palúdicas
revienta a flor de agua
la musical burbuja…


Note: Syllable count: 8,7,7; faint assonantal rhyme between L1’s “U_i_a,” L2’s “A_u_a,” and L3’s “u_U_a.”

From the paludal/marsh-dwelling frogs
bursts into flower from water
the musical bubble…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

8 p. m.

“Rest in peace,” intones the toad
for the unfortunate stars
that fell in his pond.

Canta un responso el sapo
a las pobres estrellas
caídas en su charco.


Note: Syllable count: 7, 7, 7; feminine assonantal rhyme between L1 and L3 (“A_o”).

It chants a response, the toad [does],
to the poor stars
fallen in its puddle/pool.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

10 p. m.

The spiteful little owl flings up his raucous laugh at
the Great Horned female flying to the witches’ sabbath.

Lanza el torvo mochuelo su carcajada
a la bruja lechuza volando al sabbat.


Note: Syllable count: 12, 12; feminine assonantal rhyme (“A_a”) between L1 and L2.

Throws the baleful [implied: small, masculine] owl its guffaw
at the witchy [implied: large, feminine] owl flying to the sabbath.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

12 p. m.

The clock sounds like it gnaws
on midnight, and its echo is
the minute-hand of the mouse.

Parece roer el reló
la medianoche y ser su eco
el minutero del ratón.


Note: Syllable count: 8, 8, 8; masculine assonantal rhyme (“Ó”) between stressed final syllable of L1 and L3; also the unstressed final syllable (“o”) of L2.

It seems to gnaw, the clock [does],
midnight, and [it seems] to be its echo (or “midnight, and its echo [seems] to be”)
the minute hand of the mouse.
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