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Nabi Khazri – The Garden of Rocks (from A Japanese Notebook)

Ryōan-ji rock garden (Wikipedia)

Nabi Khazri (Nabi Alekper ogly Babaev) is the national poet of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The poem that I translated into English was rendered into Russian by Anatoly Peredreev. The Garden of Rocks is, obviously, the famous Ryōan-ji.

Sit down, take off your shoes,
Don’t say a word
While in the company
Of sand and white rocks,
And let this boundless silence be the ocean –
Immerse yourself in it.

Stay herewith the clouds most serene,
Don’t say a word
Next to the sand and rocks,
And ages set in stone.
May those rocks be isles in the ocean?
Or may they be the clouds most serene?

Can you not see the glow of days finite?
The moss, as green as everlasting life,
Is sparkling with the emerald of spring.
Meanwhile the wind discusses death and life
With the gently touched by sun sakura tree.

Once, like the wind, you’ll fly away in sorrow
And earthly life that you once here led
Will turn into a particle of this white sand
That now lies in silence between the stones.

You’re going… Wait… Eternity is speaking!
Here the sky, forever so blue,
And silence, and infinity are speaking…
Listen to them – for they all speak to you…

Translation © Julia Shuvalova 2011

Russian text

Наби Хазри – Сад камней (из “Японской тетради”)

И в молчанье посиди
Наедине с песком и белым камнем.
И в тишину
Как в океан войди
И растворись в безбрежном океане.
В тишайшем мире облаков
Среди камней,
Среди песка
Без слов…
С окаменевшими веками…
Не груда ль
Отвердевших облаков,
Не острова ли в океане –
Не свет ли в них
Погаснувших веков?..
Зеленый мох,
Как жизни знак бессмертный,
Весною изумрудною горит,
И ветер
С веткой сакуры рассветной
О жизни и о смерти говорит…
И ты, как ветер, улетишь,
И век земной,
Что был тобой прожит,
Войдет песчинкой
В тот песок хрустальный,
Что меж камней
В безмолвии лежит…
Уходишь ты…
Послушай вечность!
Небесный свод
И тишина,
И мира бесконечность
С тобою говорят…
С тобой… С тобой…

Авторизованный перевод с азербайджанского Анатолия Передреева.

Walking in Wisteria Tunnel; Reading Haiku

I was reading Nabokov this morning, a translation of his celebrated Dar. It opens with a beautiful passage describing the appearance of a rainbow after the rain, particularly noting the puprle hues. I’ve always loved purple skies.

Then suddenly I found this amazing photo of wisteria tunnel in Japan. It is located in Kawachi Fuji Garden. The Japanese celebrate a few floral festivals, one is a very popular sakura matsuri, the cherry blossom festival; and another is fuji matsuri, or wisteria festival. As Garden Design explains, “The wisteria at these parks are Wisteria floribunda, which grow with powerful clockwise-twining stems. In Japan, these varieties bloom in this order: ‘Usubeni fuji’ (light pink), ‘Murasaki fuji’ (purple), ‘Naga fuji’ (long), ‘Yae kokuryu’ (double-petaled black dragon), and ‘Shiro fuji’ (white)”.

I wish I could be so good with plants and flowers!

In Moscow, we have the lilac bushes in full bloom at this time of the year. Sadly, you can make money on them, so the branches with flowers quickly get cut and sold. Tulips are also blooming, and it’s a beautiful time of the year now that the pollen settled down.

Garden Design via stomaster.livejournal.com

I wondered if there was ever any haiku commemorating wisteria, and you know, there is! It’s not coming from a Japanese but from a lovely lady, Andromeda Jazmon Sibley. She composed the poem for the National Poetry Month 2010, and on her blog she writes about “multiculti kids’ books and poetry”.

Evening tea;
rain on the wisteria
until sun breaks through
~Andromeda Jazmon Sibley.

How Monkeys Watched The Planet of the Apes

This could be a joke, unless it was true: in Japan, the scientists and tourism industry pros decided to invite a group of monkeys to a film screening. Assuming that like should be interested in the like, they screened a (abridged to 13 minutes) version of The Planet of the Apes by Rupert Wyatt.

According to the report, monkeys were scared and ran away… but then THEY CAME BACK AND FINISHED WATCHING THE FILM.

I may be wrong… but this was exactly the evoluton in attitude of humans to the moving pictures. First, people were scared of the train speeding at them from the screen, and now watching a few dozens of cars crashed in front of your eyes on the screen is, like, a must for an action movie.

The screenings are said to be continued. The officials hope that those monkeys who successfully watch all films should “evolve faster”.

I’m not sure how to interpret the need for this “evolution of the apes”. Is it that there’s not enough unspoilt people, and the Japanese hope to develop a better breed by going “ad fontes”, or better put, to the apes, to paraphrase the famous Renaissance expression?

В японском зоопарке макакам показали фильм «Восстание планеты обезьян»


error: Sorry, no copying !!