Monday, 15 July 2013

Kokinshu #421

Monday, 15 July 2013 06:59
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
(Written at Mt. Tamuke when the Suzaku Retired Emperor [Uda] journeyed to Nara.)

    Although I should cut
my "patched sleeve" into cloth strips
    as an offering,
might gods who are surfeited
with autumn leaves return them?

—28 June & 3 July 2013

Original by Sosei. Another rhetorical question from Sosei. According to the court record of Uda's autumn outing, he joined the party for a short time when it passed his temple and wrote this as a reply to the previous. A "patched sleeve" was a common synecdoche for the robe of a Buddhist monk.

And that's the end of traveling: next is Book X and something completely different -- though just as playful, in its way, as these last few poems. (This arrangement was probably deliberate by way of transition.)

tamuke ni wa
tsuzuri no sode mo
kirubeki ni
momiji ni akeru
kami ya kaesamu



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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