Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Kokinshu #427

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 06:56
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Mountain cherry (kaniwazakura)

    Even diving down,
fumbling around in the waves
    I can't feel them out --
these gems that float up and sink
every time the wind blows.

—7 July 2013

Original by Ki no Tsurayuki. The longest hidden-word topic so far, requiring more ingenuity to work in. What the topic is, exactly, is even more of a challenge, as kaniwazakura is an archaic name now identified with a couple different trees, the most common being a type of ornamental mountain cherry (Prunus serrulata var. kabazakura) and the Japanese bird-cherry (Prunus grayana). The former seems a more suitably elegant topic, but you should probably read an implied "?" after it. The poem itself would, I think, do a little better immediately after #424-425 (but then, #431 also uses the same conceit). That we've met worse examples of Chinese-mannered faux naivete doesn't really excuse this one.


kazukedomo
nami no naka ni wa
sagurarede
kaze fuku-goto ni
ukishizumu tama


---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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