日式禅诗

山顶泪
川事
山元
水音

(Translation and notes follow)

Mountain top tears
River matters
The mountain's origin,

Water sound

In Chinese, the meaning of the original that I wrote in Japanese can be faithfully conveyed, but the syllable count requirement becomes a problem (haiku should have 17 syllables, which is achieved in the English). Chinese is mostly monosyllabic so the haiku pattern would simply be a 17-character poem.

In this translation from the Japanese, the pace, poise, and irreverence are almost there, but not quite - not to my filthy barbarian ears at least. I made the Japanese rhyme too (that's not a condition of any traditional school of Chinese or Japanese poetry, I was just trying to shoehorn in an alien nicety for fun). The rhyme play is also lost in the Chinese.

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