Dear Haiku Maven, I write haiku in some other language than English and do some translations. While doing translations to English, it is not easy to keep the same original image so I change them slightly to make them more relevant. Recently when going through some haiku collections I found that the same idea which I get out in translations has already been published as a haiku (or in some other form). An interesting point is that some have very similar words too. In this situation what should I do? My translations are also already published.
Signed, What Should I Do?
Dear What Should I Do, Reading over your query, Haiku Maven keeps coming back to your use of the phrase “it is not easy to keep the same original image so I change them slightly to make them more relevant.” Haiku Maven finds that phrase quite telling. It appears that this is the point where you veered off course. Not only did you veer off course, but you also drove straight into a wall of some previously published haiku similar to your own translated-into-English haiku. Now your haiku has some bumps and dents resulting from the accident. Haiku Maven suggests you take a self-taught remedial translation course. In this way, Haiku Maven hopes that you will no longer be tempted to substitute other more “relevant” images for the original images. Should you be called out on your previous transgressions by any aggrieved haiku poet, Haiku Maven advises you to eat some very public humble pie.
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