Here is my “gripe”: I submitted five of my haiku, in both languages, to an international haiku print publication. I never heard back from the editor. Yesterday I got my subscription copy. Three of my haiku were published as I wrote them in my first language, and in English, but not with my own translation. My three published haiku read in English as if they were written by someone who knows how to read English but not how to speak it. I feel ill-used by this editor. Besides never submitting to this so-called international haiku journal, what must I do to safeguard my reputation as an English language haiku poet?
Signed, Bilingual Und Fluently Fluent
Dear BUFF, Your situation is not as uncommon as you might suppose. Haiku Maven has received reports and rumors of similar fractured English translations by misguided editors of international haiku. You have three options. The first is to request/demand a correction. This might not work to your advantage as it may have the unfortunate effect of getting on the bad side of this editor. Editors can be a prickly breed and more than one has been known to hold a grudge. The second option is to resubmit those haiku with your own English translations to a different publication (along with a note to the editor explaining the prior editor’s clumsiness.) This option carries some risk of alienating the prior editor. See first comment. The third option is to ignore the editor and publication. This has the virtue doing what Haiku Maven calls “taking the high road.” If more haiku poets took the high road, Haiku Maven would be out of a job. Whatever you decide know that there always will be someone who is not satisfied with a translation. Haiku Maven has the email to prove it.
The Haiku Maven posts each Friday to The Haiku Foundation blog. Haiku Maven offers advice about awkward situations involving haiku poets. Please use our Contact page to send a question. Haiku Maven will select a pseudonym for you based on your question. Click this link to see the Haiku Maven archive. Feel free to leave comments.