Sunday, 1 September 2013

lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Bellflower blossoms (riutan no hana)

    I shall chase away
these birds trampling underfoot
    my garden flowers.
Is it because there are none
in the fields that they come here?

—21 July 2013

Original by Ki no Tomonori. This is the native bellflower/gentian (Gentiana scabra, modern rindô), so possibly the same flower as #435 -- and possibly the flowers referred to in the poem. The poem itself is good evidence that the standards of decorum were different for wordplay poems than the rest of the Kokinshu. One commentary notes that the "beating" off (the more literal meaning) is possibly best imagined as throwing rocks -- cranky old guys, they are eternal.


waga yado no
hana fumishidaku
tori utamu
no wa nakereba ya
koko ni shimo kuru


---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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