daily preciousness

Friday, July 12, 2002

robert frost in kanji

On looking into Robert Frost in Kanji

There are more problems to a woodchuck

Than the old tongue-twister dreamed.

How much of the wood is picture,

How much idea or noise?

Could an oriental nature-lover know

The restless action of the verb to chuck?

Will the nice mixture of Virgil and Vermont

Find an equivalent voice

On the spare Japanese reed?

After what might be described locally

As seven elegant hen-tracks

The translator remarks

Very sensibly: (woodchuck)

As if to paraphrase his unyielding poet:

The definition of woodchuck is,

That which is lost in translation.

-William Meredith


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