Level: Intermediate II

Blossoms and Children: a translation in ASL

Poem by Ryokan
from Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan, translated by John Stevens. Published by Shambala in Boston, 1996.

For Children Killed in a Smallpox Epidemic

ASL translated by Jolanta Lapiak.

English version

When spring arrives
From every tree tip
Flowers will bloom,
But those children
Who fell with last autumn's leaves
Will never return.

Poem by Ryokan
from Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan, translated by John Stevens. Published by Shambala in Boston, 1996.

ASL translated by Jolanta Lapiak.

Interpretation

Language interpretation may be a difficult, though an interesting process. Rhymes or any other elements may be lost from one language to another in the translation process, or may even be created in a poem of one language from the origin of a language.

In this process, I attempted to preserve a symmetry of the poem. Below shows a few poetic elements.

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Comments

"That is beautiful and heartbreaking. You signed it so beautifully and I understood it all. You are truly an artist." -- H., Dec. 2019.

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