A little bit of background
I thought it would be interesting to write a little bit about the translation of the book, A Long Rainy Season, since mood is so important in translations--and also is a main topic of discussion when we analyze stories.
It is amazing how such brief verses can be translated so many different ways. Here is a poem that is in the collection, as translated by the editors:
bright as a tulip in bloom--
Translated directly from Japanese, it reads:
tulip flower / bloom like / brightness / you me / carry away February
Another translation reads entirely differently, but don't you think it keeps a similar "feel" or tone?
With the gaiety of tulips in bloom
carry me off--
All of the versions are certainly different. The translators in the book made a point (as stated in the introduction) to really keep the tone and not attempt to force any syllable count, "...the English was not put into a strict syllable count, sicne we felt this would force the works into a straitjacket rhythm rather than allowing the inherent rhythms of the language to emerge."