Plastic Tree – てふてふ (Tefu Tefu/Chou chou) Translation

Translation

Title: Butterflies*


I keep having the same dream: a butterfly in a deep darkness, your silhouette disappearing as if you gave up

Far away, almost grinning with an evil intent, the needle of the moon and I can’t remember anymore the magic word to slip out of this dream.

In the stillness, my tears still linger but don’t fall

and they inlay as fragments in the image of that sweet time now broken to pieces.

Again and again, while chasing a flapping of wings which have lost their way and keep drawing spirals

creacking and creacking, I just have come to hate that sadness which sounds like the creacking of a pendulum.

I’ll sow black seeds, what kind of flowers will bloom? Asks my voice, lying and pretending not to know the answer

Someway or the other, they’ll be eaten by worms, fascinated by something until one day they’ll wake up and spread transparent roots…

If what is lost can never be retrieved,

then lock me down here, at the bottom of this scene where we’re entwined.

Growing darker and darker, the reason why field of vision is warped is because I keep chasing things which are not visible

gently, gently, on the wavering water surface, a single petal fell.

Again and again, while chasing a flapping of wings which have lost their way and keep drawing spirals

creacking and creacking, I just have come to hate that sadness which sounds like the creacking of a pendulum.

Growing darker and darker, the reason why field of vision is warped is because I keep chasing things which are not visible

gently, gently, on the wavering water surface, a single petal fell.

Again and again, while chasing a flapping of wings which have lost their way and keep drawing spirals

creacking and creacking, I just have come to hate that sadness which sounds like the creacking of a pendulum.

Notes and Other

I decided to translate these lyrics a bit more freely to attempt to catch a bit more of the suggistiveness of the poetic scenery of the song. You can find a translation closer to the original lyrics (and every other Plastic Tree song) here.

*=the title is most likely inspired by a one-line poem with the same title. This poem describes the scenery of a single butterfly crossing the sea of a certain place (I think it’s near China, but don’t quote me on that). From what I gathered, there’s an actual specie of butterfly which every year migrates to a warmer area by crossing 7 km of sea and probably the poem was inspired by this.

There are many interpretations of this poem, but I think what really stroke Arimura Ryutarou’s imagination was the stricking contrast between the vastness of the sea at the bottom and of the completely darkened night sky (this doesn’t appear in the poem, but might be an interpretation) compared to the struggle of this single butterfly, merely a dot about to be engulfed by the darkness of the night.

I think that Arimura Ryutarou uses this image to describe how the image of someone close to him is slowly fading away from his memory: fleeting as if it was a recurring dream, everything gets darker and darker, no matter how many times he tries to chase the sound of the flapping of the butterfly’s wings, perhaps forever gone in the dark. Almost everything in the scenery seems to work against the butterfly: even the moon, reduced to a thin pin in the sky, seems to be mocking it, as if it was already clear how impossible is for such a small existence to cross such a vast distance.

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