Scattering Blossoms

Chidorigafuchi sakura


As we are now in the month of uzuki (卯月) in the old Japanese calendar, I was reading through the Kokinshu poetry anthology again, and I wanted to share a couple poems for Spring. This first poem was composed by the Kokinshu’s main compiler, Ki no Tsurayuki:

116. 春の野に haru no no ni
若菜つまんと wakana tsuman to
来しものを koshi mono wo
散りかふ花に chirikau hana ni
道はまどひぬ michi wa madoinu

Which Professor Laurel Rodd translates as:

To these spring meadows
I came to pluck the first herbs
of the year but then
in the tumbling cascade of
blossoms I lost the path home.

And this one was written by anonymous:

112. 散る花を chiru hana wo
何か恨みむ nani ka uramin
世の中に yo no naka ni
わが身もともに waga mi mo tomo ni
あらむものかは aran mono ka wa

which again, Professor Rodd translates as:

Why should we grieve to
see the petals falling to
earth for won’t we too
who share this ephemeral
existence someday follow?

The second poem is a classic example of the Japanese notion of mono no aware (物の哀れ). You can read more about it here.

Happy Spring everyone!


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

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