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ADELAIDE Independent Quarterly Literary Magazine / Revista Literária Independente Trimestral, New York / Lisboa, Online Edition  

 




 

 



 

 

 

 

KAME WARURU 
Jar Breaking
Translation by William Waters 

 

 

A SONG FOR AHN, MYONG HWA

Original Korean:

korean

Phonetic Korean:

Ahn-gay-ga god-hee-go
Myong-song-ee sa-ra-chee-cha
Hwa-rha Harm-ee Da-shee sal-lan-nan-da.

 

English:

As the mist rises
Venus disappears;
Even the dust sparkles. 

 

 

 

 

KAME WARURU* 
Jar Breaking
                        For Basho

I had
forgotten
the jar
in the
kitchen,
--had forgotten
the open
windows,
and the cold
outside.

It had been
so long
since
I had
heard
voices—
even my own—
I didn’t
notice
the room
grow dark.

I don’t
know
how long
I had
been curled
on my side,
staring
at shadows…

…but when
I heard
CRA-A-CK!—
without blinking—
I knew
the shadows
were just
shadows.

The next
morning,
stumbling
in the
kitchen,
I saw
ice

had split
the jar

open.

 

 (*) As was typical for the time, Matsuo Basho kept a clay jar for drinking water in his cabin; one winter night, it split open, waking him from his sleep. About that experience, he wrote: Kame waruru / yoru no kori no / nezame kana  (jar breaking / night ’s ice ’s / waking !)

 

 

 

William waters

 

About the Author:
William Waters is an associate professor, in the Department of English at the University of Houston Downtown. Along with Sonja Foss, he is coauthor of Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation. His research and teaching interests are in writing theory and modern grammar.


 




 




 

 

 

     
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