Treasure Island

John Knight

(8 September 1933 / Liverpool - UK)

1119 GERMAN HAIKU


German is an amazing language - because it is so so Germanic it always ahs an inbuilt authority. I went to Oberammagau in 2000 and when Jesus was castigating the money changers for desicarating The Temple (His Father's House) He sounded much more authoritative in German than in English. When you recite German Poetry you have to really mean it to get the full efect. Even if you can't speak German try saying the following Haikus and you will see what I mean. German is reasonably phonetic - except that 'W' is pronounced as 'V'. Because of the sentence structure of the German Language the English translation does not follow line for line. Because they have a common source many words in Eglish and German are very similar so I am sure you will easily recognise which line matches which!

KUHLE LUFT WEHT AUF
DER KLANG DER ABENDGLOCKE
LANGE NOCH IM OHR

The cold wind blows
The sound of the evening bell
Still rings in my ear.

IM PUPPENWAGEN
GLANZEN ZWEI KASTNIEN
DAS MADCHEN STRAHLT

The little girl smiles
Two shiney conkers nestling
In her dollies pram!

DAS TROCKENE FLUSSBETT
FURHT NUR NOCH STEINE
NUR NOCH STEINE

Only stones flowing
In the dried-up river bed
Nothing but stones.

LAUTLOS KRAUSELT SICH
WASSER IM TEICH - IRGENDWO
LIBELLENSCHATTEN

On the rippled pond
Dragonfly shadows - silent
Solitary and spooky!

(John Knight - Colchester - November 2009)

Submitted: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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  • Christine Schmidt (11/25/2009 7:04:00 PM)

    John-I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS! My son learned a little German the last couple years in school, so I did get a chance to read some of his text books. I like the German language too. I had a piano teacher who was from Germany, so once in a while I would hear him speak to his family over the phone-very fun to listen to, but too fast for me to catch the words :) ....I did read these outloud though-you put the fun into these haikus-A+
    ~Christine (Report) Reply

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