Friday, 8 February 2013

lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
(for the same screen): Autumn

    When the autumn winds
are blowing through the pine trees
    of Suminoe,
their voices are added to
the white waves of the open sea.

—7 February 2013

Original by [Ôshikôchi no Mitsune]. Mitsune's collected poems provides the attribution, as does the Shuishu, making this one of the rare poems to be picked more than once for an imperial anthology -- which shows how much the poem was valued as a model for the genre. Suminoe is an inlet in modern Osaka near the Sumiyoshi Shrine, which is dedicated to a god of good fortune such as wished upon the guest of honor, and the voices of wind and waves evokes the voices of the banquet guests. Of note: the set phrase oki tsu shiranami, "white waves of the open sea," uses what was an old-fashioned (possibly already archaic?) genitive particle tsu. Omitted-but-understood verb: the "are" of "are added."

suminoe no
matsu o akikaze
fuku kara ni
koe uchisouru
oki tsu shiranami



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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