Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Kokinshu #464

Tuesday, 29 October 2013 07:03
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Chinese incense (hakuwak├┤)

    Given there's a wind
that tirelessly scatters
    all of the flowers,
how much resentment, then,
do you imagine I feel?

— 23 October 2013

Original author unknown. The last (and smallest) group of hidden topics are various non-living things. This one, a blend of scents, could colorfully be translated as "Perfume of a Hundred Harmonies" but only if you're willing to let it be used by Lady Plum-Blossom and her ilk. It's possible to read either that the speaker is not tired of the flowers or the wind isn't tired of blowing -- the latter feels less strained, but the former is a common interpretation, and either way the other meaning remains as an undertone. The question, for what it's worth, is marked as rhetorical.

hana-goto ni
akazu chirashishi
kaze nareba
ikusobaku wa ga
ushi to ka wa omou



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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