Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Kokinshu #352

Wednesday, 9 January 2013 07:05
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Written on the folding-screen [placed] behind Prince Motoyasu at his seventieth birthday celebration.

    When spring arrives,
the plum flowers that blossom
    first in my garden
do indeed seem adornments
for the thousand years of my lord.

—8 January 2013

Original by Ki no Tsurayuki. Motoyasu, a son of Emperor Ninmy├┤, turned 70 around 901 (there are scholarly disagreements over the interpretation of the records). Note the poem's point-of-view is not within the painting, but of a viewer of it -- pulling an object from inside it into the real world. (The bulk of Tsurayuki's post-Kokinshu career was devoted to writing screen poems, during which he helped canonize the convention of a POV within the painting.) Lost in translation: the adornments are those for hair or a hat.


haru kureba
yado ni mazu saku
umi (no) hana
kimi ga chitose no
kazashi to zo miru


---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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