Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Kokinshu #440

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 07:08
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Bellflower blossoms (kichik├┤ no hana).

    Autumn has closed in
on the fields: the colors of
    even the grass blades
where the white dew has settled
are fading and departing.

—17 July 2013

Original by Ki no Tomonori. Specifically the Chinese bellflower (Platycodon grandiflorum, modern name kiky├┤), one of the canonical seven flowers of autumn skipped over in the seasonal books, which blooms for a long time before finally withering -- "even" here implies that the flowers are already blown. Once again Tomonori ingenuously works in an extended hidden topic, using a "reasoning style" poem that neatly balances approach and departure in a non-mechanical way (more literally, autumn "has become close"). I'd be happier if, where the topic is worked in, the sentence structure was a little more natural.

aki chikou
no wa narinikeri
shiratsuyu no
okeru kusaba mo
iro kawariyuku



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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