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Feigning normality since 1973

No haiku for you

Filed in: TV & Movies.

I've been watching the old Man from UNCLE series, and partway through The Five Daughters Affair, we get this exchange:

Geisha: You know, ah: When homesick / think of friends / loneliness flees ... is ancient haiku
Napoleon: Haiku?
Illya: It's a classic form of Japanese poetry. It has to have exactly seventeen syllables. My favourite is: The old pond / a frog jumps in / plop.

You may notice that despite the correct (if imprecise) definition of haiku, that both examples completely fail to get anywhere near 17 syllables. Tsk.

Posted June 3, 2009 12:14 AM


But do they in the orginal anchient Japanese?

One of the problems in translating poetry and puns is they never quite work out as well as the orginal.
(Sister Teri had this trying to explain the old German slogan: "One Cow makes Moo, many cows make Moos" where Moos is very similar to the German word for "trouble".

Posted by: theotherdave | June 8, 2009 9:23 AM

I'm not entirely sure what ancient Japanese is for "plop". :)

Posted by: Alden | June 8, 2009 10:00 AM

"mizu no oto" apparently.

Posted by: the other dave | June 9, 2009 10:39 AM

Oh wow, it is an actual Haiku! That's pretty cool. I must withdraw my objection in that case. :)

Posted by: Alden | June 9, 2009 11:05 AM

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