Friday, 22 February 2013

lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
(Topic unknown.)

    How long must I wait
for the one who this morning
    starts his journey through
autumn fields of bush-clover
where the digger-wasps drone?

—19 February 2013

Original author unknown. In contrast to the previous, this is most easily read as a parting of lovers. The sugaru is an old name for any of several wasps (used poetically in the Man'yoshu as a comparison for a woman's waist), commonly identified specifically as a digger wasp. Keeping the smooth sweep of a direct lyrical statement (also a Man'yoshu styling) meant almost exactly reversing the order of images.


sugaru naku
aki no hagihara
asa tachite
tabiyuku hito o
itsu to ka matamu


---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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