Monday, 7 January 2013

Kokinshu #351

Monday, 7 January 2013 07:03
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Written on a depiction of someone flower-viewing amid scattering cherry blossoms on a folding screen for the celebration of the fiftieth birthday of the [Nijô] Empress held by Prince Sadayasu.

    The months and days
that pass by in idleness
    aren't noticed, yet
the days of spring spent watching
the flowers seem few indeed.

—6 January 2013

Original by Fujiwara no Okikaze. Sadayasu (b. 870) was a younger son of Emperor Seiwa and Nijô (see #4), who turned fifty in 891. Omitted-but-understood words: "days of" and "seem," both strongly implied by the construction. More literally it's be "idly"/"uselessly" than "in idleness," but the latter's overtone seems to fit better, to my ear. The flattery here is the implicit comparison of Nijô's beauty to that of spring flowers.


itazura ni
suguru tsukihi wa
omôede
hana mite kurasu
haru zo sukunaki


---L.

About

Warning: contents contain line-breaks.

As language practice, I was translating classical Japanese poetry -- most recently, book 11 (love part 1) of the Kokinshu anthology. This project is, however, on hiatus. Past translations are archived here. Suggestions, corrections, and questions always welcome.

There's also original pomes in the journal archives.

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