Monday, 21 October 2013

lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Yodo River (Yodogawa)

    When I live beneath
the footwearying mountains,
    what can the white clouds
be telling me to do when
there's never a time they clear?

—17 October 2013

(Original by Ki no Tsurayuki.) The Yodo is the name of the lower stretches of the Uji River, which the Kamiya of the previous eventually flows into. The mountains suggest a religious retreat and the overcast a heavy heart, but I am not at all certain I correctly understand the second half (particularly line 4, which became parts of ll.3-4 in translation).


ashibiki no
yamabe ni oreba
shirakumo no
ika ni seyo to ka
haruru toki naki


---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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