B.1. A CROW ON A BARE BRANCH: a comparison of Matsuo Bashô's haiku "Kare-eda-ni..." and its English translations

  • Elin Sütiste University of Tartu
Keywords: Japanese poetry, haiku, translation


This paper deals with Matsuo Bashô's haiku "Kare-eda-ni..." and its 32 English translations, concentrating on the interference of the original haiku's features with the poetic standards of the target culture (for example, characteristics like title, number of syllables and lines, seasonal word kigo, cutting word kireji, imagery etc.). In this respect, certain translational tendencies can be observed to exist, both on the level of the whole text (e.g., an overall adherence to the original text or to the "domestic" standards) and on the local level (for instance, it is customary to translate a haiku into the form of three lines, but the exact number of syllables is not considered to be of primary importance). In sum, this work is an attempt to offer a relatively wide-scope overview of translational possibilities that have been applied to the rendering of this haiku into English.


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