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Help reverse-translating haiku?

 
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Matsuhide
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:13 pm    Post subject: Help reverse-translating haiku? Reply with quote
I came across this particular haiku in a book of death-poems but it's only presented romajized(?) and I think have translated to the corresponding Japanese kanji/hiragana but would appreciate a proofread.

Kanga
喚我
Died 1812

Eng trans:

A chill:
my soul turns into
an icon.

Romaji:

Suzushiku mo
tama wa gazou ni
utsurikeri


Reverse-translation attempt:

凉しくも
魂わ画像に
移りけり


Thanks!
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Looks good to me. Your "Romanized" needs work, though Laughing
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
That "wa" should probably be a は, no?

Otherwise, nice work!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
That "wa" should probably be a は, no?

Otherwise, nice work!


I have no idea how I missed that.
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Matsuhide
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
Looks good to me. Your "Romanized" needs work, though

You mean as opposed to "romajized?" Embarassed

lordameth wrote:
That "wa" should probably be a は, no?

Otherwise, nice work!

そうね。
I knew something didn't feel right about that. Too out of practice...
Nice catch, thanks!

Hey, lastly:
I believe 1812 would be Tenmei 32?
Would that be written 天明三十三年? (Didn't find anything this "modern" in the fascinating "Time in Japan" thread.)
Thanks again!

*edit*
No no no...
Bunka 9
文化九年?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Matsuhide wrote:

Bunka 9
文化九年?


That's what I got when I ran it through NengoCalc.
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Matsuhide
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you sir(s)! bow
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Matsuhide
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
OK, now to re-translate BACK to English. Maybe...
I think the initial translation I read is alright but, since haiku (generally) don't rhyme and are poetic because of their syllable count, I've always tried and preferred to translate them in a way that transfers that structure whenever possible.

Here's what I came up with last night:

"Also with the chill,
spirits of man; an icon
shall transform into."

Does that seem plausible?
Naturally some artistic (poetic) license must be taken because no one can know the exact symbolism intended by the original author which is part of what makes it poetic.
I translated the "tama wa" as "spirits of man" (i.e. spirits in general, but that phrasing worked phonetically) rather than "my soul" because it is marked the the more generalized "wa" (は! Just Kidding) and not the more specific "ga."
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't know why this didn't occur to me earlier, but couldn't the utsurikeri be 映り or 写り?

"My soul reflected in an image" or "Souls reflected in a painting" ... Maybe? What do you think?
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Matsuhide
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
I don't know why this didn't occur to me earlier, but couldn't the utsurikeri be 映り or 写り?

"My soul reflected in an image" or "Souls reflected in a painting" ... Maybe? What do you think?

Maybe, or perhaps "projected." Fortunately "reflect," "project," and "transform" are all two syllables... Very Happy

The original was translated as "turns into," so I assume that meaning was taken from the original kanji (if any..); but if it was just written in hiragana it could be a number of things, the beauty of such a method.

The translator noted that "gazo" could perhaps be referring to a statue of the Buddha, but not necessarily. If so (and not written in the previously presumed kanji), your interpretaion could make a lot of sense.

I have yet to locate a copy of the original, hence the necessity (well, desire) to reverse-translate. Any examples of other writings by this "Kanga" would be revealing, but I am at a loss.
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