Saturday, 24 August 2013

Kokinshu #438

Saturday, 24 August 2013 08:24
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
(Maidenflower)

    Seeing these flowers
while getting soaked by stepping
    through the morning dew,
I've passed over and now know
all of the fields and mountains.

—16 July 2013

(Original by Ki no Tomonori.) A very active poem: five verbs, four of them compounded in unusual pairs and two implying other verbs. Note that the dew, like the riddle's hidden answer, is also an autumn topic. If you assume the maidenflowers stand in for maidens (which the dew supports, given visiting lovers canonically depart at dawn), this becomes a boast about tomcatting it about.


asatsuyu o
wakesohochitsutsu
hana mimu to
ima zo noyama o
mina heshirinuru


---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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