The goldfish expands, motionless, beneath the azure sky. A serene silence within the bowl no longer defies. A dove's silhouette gracefully dances upon the glass, Arriving, a petal amidst white clouds, a scene so vast. Chuyo Sakurama 1911-07-06 ~1934-04-18
“The Analysis of Poetry”
Beneath the azure sky, the goldfish expands, motionless.’ This sentence alone drew me in. The euphoria that followed still lingers. The Japanese translation is ‘Under the azure sky, the goldfish ate the azure sky and became motionless in its bowl’. Did it fill its stomach with the sky, or was it suffocated by the vastness of the world? Is ‘stuck in a bowl’ death or just ‘expression’?
The author of this poem is probably not well known in Japan. I myself have only recently become aware of him. There is almost no information about him in Japan, except that he was a writer who died prematurely while still a student at Waseda University. (At the moment) There are expressions that are unique to the Japanese language, so I was not sure whether to translate them into English, but I will leave them here as a trial translation.
Beneath the azure sky, the goldfish expands, motionless.
A serene silence within the bowl no longer defies.
A dove’s silhouette, a gentle presence, bathed in light,
Gracefully dancing upon the glass, casting shadows so slight.
Arriving, a petal amidst white clouds, a scene so vast.
I was torn between translating “The goldfish expands, motionless, beneath the azure sky” and “The goldfish expands, motionless, beneath the azure sky”, but I chose the contradiction and contrast in terms of rhythm and poetic expression. I did not choose “blue sky” because, firstly, “goldfish” is a summer term in Japan, so the summer sky is “azure”. Secondly, the author “Chuyo Sakurama” died on 18 April 1934 while a student at Waseda University. The name “Azure Sky” was chosen because of the song “Azure Sky”. I hope this will lead to the memory of the deceased.
By the way, did this goldfish really die? I leave that interpretation to the reader, but I think it is dead. However, the poem is close to ‘impermanence’ in Buddhist terms, but the fact that I did not dare to call it death, and the contrast between the fluttering of the dove’s wings and the thin shadows and sparkles of existence, sometimes made it seem like Deleuze’s（Deleuze and Guattari） ‘generative change’（devenir） of transformation, rather than limiting it to death. Of course, in the verbal state of the poem, the stationary goldfish and the scene do not continue in continuity, not affecting each other as separate entities.
But what if we look at it from a ‘metaphorical’ point of view? Where has the goldfish gone? The goldfish is transformed in the poem, flapping its wings, as an entity that does not depend on anything else. In the case of Buddhist ‘impermanence’, individual beings coexist and coexist with other beings, but this poem goes beyond that and contains ‘diversity’ through poetry. I found myself in my mind,There was an emotion that I could not capture myself. In the English translation, the dove is the most vital, so light and shadow.
I rhymed it with shadows so light, because the dove is the most vital. I gave priority to the English rhythm and made it dance.
This means perseverance in the poetic feeling.
The typical disease that causes goldfish to swell and die is ‘ascites’but in the early stages life can be prolonged by lowering the water temperature, but in the later stages it cannot be saved. We suppose that such a situation could not be dealt with in the Japanese summers of the Showa period. The idea of the poem is whether it is the owner’s guilt for letting the goldfish die, whether it is all a fantasy, or whether this death, especially for a creature like a ‘goldfish’, is immediately buried in the earth. Most people would not make much of a grave. But anyone who has seen the weakness of a dead goldfish knows how fragile it is. This poem, with its physically weightless ascent, seemed to ‘love’ something, as if it were ecstatically in love with the world itself, even with the passing of the day. Not sad, this silence is not sad because it survives differently. Enclosed in the glass of a goldfish bowl as the light of the world shines through. What protects life, is it that life lasts, or is it that it is as fragile as glass, or that it continues to swim?
It is not sad because of the overlap.
however, as there is ‘realm of shadows’ or ‘king of heaven’.
translation into German（attempted translation）
Der Goldfisch dehnt sich aus, regungslos, unter dem azurblauen Himmel.
Eine stille Ruhe in der Schale widersteht nicht länger.
Die Silhouette einer Taube tanzt anmutig auf dem Glas,
Wie ein Blütenblatt inmitten weißer Wolken, eine solch weite Szene.
Includes internal rhyme. But I would like to be taught.
I also think the goldfish seems to have fallen in love and become still. In truth it would have described death,
The ‘word’ is brought back to life by the human voice.
I earnestly hope that we can follow the words with our eyes, speak them aloud and continue to see the “world” from what we can see to what we cannot.
The departed never return, their presence forever gone, But many times we wish.
The English translation, however, was an attempt at prose, just as the Old Testament Book of Job was a ‘prose’ version of Job’s Lament,
I rhymed it because it seemed to me that there was not only unhappiness but also happiness through poetic feeling.
Differences between Buddhist ‘impermanence’ and generative change (simplified)
Similarities include the denial of permanence and fixity in entities and existence, and the emphasis on change and fluidity, with all phenomena and events being constantly changing and temporary. They share the ‘view’ that the existence of individuals and objects is influenced and changed by surrounding circumstances and causal relationships.
The difference is that in impermanence, all beings inevitably change, whereas in generative change, generation and change constantly create new things and bring diversity. The Buddhist teaching of impermanence aims at liberation by eliminating the causes of suffering, attachment and desire,
Generation and change’ is about individuals accepting change and fluidity, constantly engaging both banks,
Generative change’ implies a process of distortion in which the individual is pulled away from its ‘natural’ form. It is in this ‘in-between’ that something happens in generative change. This includes the emergence of diversity and inwardness. While Buddhist ‘impermanence’ emphasises the temporary nature of the process of individuals and events, Deleuze’s ‘generative change’ emphasises the continuous fluidity and capacity for change of individuals and events.