Monday, 21 February 2011

Enid Blyton

On the rooftop
Clear rainwater covers a torn page:
"Histoires de la lune bleue"

February 21, 2011


  1. The wind must have flown the first title page of the book and stuck it on the wet roof! Children (French-educated) must have been using it a lot :-)

    This "fresh" haiku has it all Paul, if I'm right: How "the rooftop" shows that the torn page must have flown up since it was raining, so it could be the wind, and how the water's transparency that covered the page allowed you to read it, during the day of course, and last, the shift of languages at the punch line!
    I love it!

  2. Yes, it was a surprise for me too.

    This morning I went up the rooftop to check the water tank and as I was looking at the many puddles left by the rain, one of them caught my attention: in it was a single page, very white, very clear, covered by a thin layer of water. I came closer and checked the torn page: at the top of it was written the title.

    The description of the book by Enid Blyton, as it appears on the Internet (and I'm leaving it in French) is this:

    "Quand la lune est bleue dans le ciel, c'est un signe de grands prodiges les statues s'animent, parlent et marchent, des lutins et des farfadets envahissent les jardins.
    C'est grâce à la lune bleue que la nuit, quand les enfants dorment, les jouets, les poupées, le polichinelle, la souris mécanique prennent vie et s'amusent entre eux.
    C'est peut-être grâce à elle qu'un gentil petit chat a assez d'esprit pour faire arrêter un voleur.
    Mais cela arrive bien rarement. Seulement quand la lune est bleue..."

    Quite eerie, to add mystery to mystery!

  3. When I saw the title, I checked it in Yahoo and read that same paragraph in French. I wonder how could children sleep after hearing or reading such stories :-) I felt the shivers after reading the haiku alone! WOW!

    Later, after my first comment, I pictured the page soaking in a puddle on the building roof's floor. But how did it come up?? Better keep the mystery!

  4. hey paul, all,

    i'm a big fan of this space and am so grateful for all of you for sharing your haiku with us.

    i noticed that many of the haiku poems posted here do not follow the 5-7-5 syllable convention. why is it so?


  5. Hey Jimmy,

    Thanks for the comments, and welcome to our blog!

    To answer your question: for one thing, the 5-7-5 rule applies to the Japanese language, and any translation from the original Japanese to English or to any other language must involve a certain twisting of things in order to keep the 5-7-5 rule.

    Then, and maybe more importantly, as long as we keep our haiku short enough (most of them are not too far from the 17-syllable model), we are within the required "spirit" of the quick, almost-spontaneous vision that can pass from one person to another.

    There is nothing special about the number 17, and if the creators of haiku had decided on 18, or 20, or even 15, this would have become the norm, basically an equally arbitrary choice.

    So, we keep the best of both worlds: short but not confined by a number.


  6. hey paul,

    thanks for a perfectly convincing explanation (which i had anticipated but wanted to get it confirmed).

    again, thanks to you all and keep up this interesting space,