tagged "poetry"

I presented a translation of a comic by Japanese manga artist Kiriko Nananan at Poetry Plurilingual, an event run by my friend where people read out non-English poems in both the original language and in translation.

 

I did this some time ago (24 June).

 

I love Kiriko Nananan. She’s absolutely incredible…what a drawer…and such a writer/storyteller! I just finished reading Strawberry Shortcakes and it was a staggering work of heart-rending genius too.

 

The one that I translated is sort of a manga-poem. An illustrated poem or something…William Blake-esque. It’s one of my absolute favourite things. I am totally not qualified to translate Japanese (I can barely string simple sentences together [AS OF NOW!]) but this poem moved me so much that I just felt the meaning (not really – I just spent a lot of time working out the meaning and even had a native speaker check it).

 

Here it is (you can also download the full transcript of my presentation here):

 

 

Water

 

 

Kiriko Nananan

 

Translated by Jack Breukelaar

 

I will come to dislike myself completely.

 

Did you come to hate the nothingness in me?

that’s right you, in such a “now” style,

were enviably cool

 

compared to that I

Only wore Doc Martens in imitation of you.

Only listened to the music that you played when I was right next to you.

Only dilettantishly memorised the titles in film theory explained by you.

 

I am shamefully empty, aren’t I?

 

    nothing

    nothing

    nothing

 

But what is the purpose of that something?

 

The flicker of a muted television.

The tick of an old clock.

An upsurged cluster of egoism.

A clustered upsurge of egoism.

 

well, that’s what I just what I think when I ponder it…

 

And yet, assuredly, I am here and I am no one else but me!

 

 

THE END

 

 

Water

 

 

魚喃キリコ

 

僕は僕を好きじゃなくなってしまう。

 

君は僕になんにもないことが嫌になったの?
そうだよ君は  今フウで
うらやましいくらいにカッコ良かった

 

それにくらべて僕ときたら
君の真似してマーチンの靴を穿いただけ。
君が流す音楽をただとなりできいてただけ。
君が話す映画論で題名をうっすら暗記しただけ。

 

僕は恥ずかしいほど空ッポなんだね。

 

  なんにもない

  なんにもない

  なんにもない

 

でもそのなにかはなんのために?

 

無音テレビのチカチカ。
古時計のカチカチ。
たかまったエゴイズムのかたまり。
かたまったエゴイズムのたかまり。

 

ねえ、考えてたら思ったんだけどね

 

それでもちゃんと僕はここに居て
僕は僕で他の誰かじゃないよ。

 

 

 

THE END