The dusk and the mountain [Haiku] – Jorge Luis Borges

The dusk and the mountain have told me something.
I have already lost that.

Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine writer and poet, had composed a poem titled “Seventeen Haiku.” This poem has 17 haikus, as the title suggests. Strictly speaking, these are short poems that can be read in haiku style, not haiku. This is because not all of these have a seasonal word.

Here, I try translating these 17 haikus into Japanese haiku style. However, it is not easy to thoroughly understand a haiku’s motif consisting of only 17 syllables. However, I think this is the real appeal of haiku. Someone read and feel a haiku in a certain situation. Each person might have a different impression, even if the same haiku is. I would like to rely on the generosity that haiku has essentially as well.

This haiku is the first one in the poem, and is numbered as “1.”

Algo me han dicho
la tarde y la montaña.
Ya lo he perdido.

– Jorge Luis Borges

I used “dusk” for “tarde” instead of “afternoon.” The reason is that I caught an emotion from “already lost”, so I took the word “dusk” which is close to a night and has a sense of finality than an energetic “afternoon”.

All this time, the workings of the universe represented as dusk which is a part of the passage of time, and like a big mountain, the great nature that has a different watch from us have told me as much as they could. However, I can’t remember anything, and no time is left to be told again, already.

It is a little bit painful, but okay.

This is the haiku translated into Japanese style and the pronunciation.


[How to pronunce]
Yuugure to yama
nanika iishimo
tsuyu to kie.

The others of “Seventeen Haiku”:
Original 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Original by Jorge Luis Borges (1982). La cifra. Alianza
Photo by Anderson Martins

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