Monday, 29 July 2013

Kokinshu #426

Monday, 29 July 2013 05:37
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Plum (ume)

    What sadness! It seems
that what appears to the eye
    must, alas, not last
-- and yet it keeps giving off
a scent that must be longed for.

—5 July 2013

Original author unknown. The second (and largest) group of topics is various flowers and trees, again in rough seasonal order, starting with the early-spring plum. The topic may be relevant, but the repeated assertive conjugation -beku/-beki is clunky, as is displacing "to the eye" out of standard order to construct the topic word (a rough equivalent of inverting a sentence to reach a rhyme). "And yet" is interpretive, but some sort of concessive conjunction is called for.


ana u me ni
tsune narubeku mo
mienu ka na
koishikerubeki
ka wa nioitsutsu


---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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