“Three Translations” by David Bowles

David Bowles


Haiku by Karai Senryū (1718–1790)


Wine was the best way
even in the Age of Gods
to work deception.





Looking at paintings,
hell seems the more interesting
destination, yes.





The mother’s name inked
into the old father’s arm—
shriveled and faded.

from Rattle #47, Spring 2015
Tribute to Japanese Forms

[download audio]


David Bowles: “I’ve been fascinated by haiku, senryū, and tanka since I was a teen; their compressed power and beauty drew me to the Japanese language, which I’ve studied for years, trying to craft equally artful English translations. The constrained elegance of the forms has influenced much of the original poetry in my most recent book, as well.” (website)

Rattle Logo