Saturday, 16 February 2013

Kokinshu #363

Saturday, 16 February 2013 08:17
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
(for the same screen): Winter

    When the white snowflakes
continually come down,
    they are flowers
scattering in the winds from
beautiful Mt. Yoshino.

—15 February 2013

Original by [Ki no Tsurayuki]. One last poem for the Sadakuni's screen. The attribution is from Tsurayuki's collected poems, where it's stated that his contibution was an imperial commission. (Whether the others were is unclear.) Compare to #9, in which Tsuryuki has edited for reading fail: the same "elegant confusion" of snowflakes for flower petals "elegant confusion" in the other direction, thinking flower petals are snow. How this applies to the occasion is more elliptical than for most, but the standard explanation is that the falling snow represents the white hair of age and the flowers apparent youth -- plus, I think, the association of Yoshino to the imperial family adds a bit of power flattery. Lost in my translation: the winds are specifically beneath or down from the mountain.

shirayuki no
furishiku toki wa
miyoshino no
yama shita kaze ni
hana zo chirikeru



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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