Monday, August 4, 2014

One Man's Maple Moon: Defeat Tanka by Saito Mokichi

English Original

surviving
the days of our country
in defeat,
where does this longing
come from?

The Prism of Mokichi, 2013

Saito Mokichi
trans. by Aya Yuhki et al


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

倖存於
國家戰敗
的日子
這個渴望
從何處而來?

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

倖存於
国家战败
的日子
这个渴望
从何处而来?


Bio Sketch

Saito Mokichi (May 14, 1882 -- February 25, 1953) was a psychiatrist and one of the most successful practitioners of the new tanka. In 1913, he published Shakko (Red Lights), a book that created a great impression not only on tanka poets but also on the literary world in general. In 1951, he received the Order of Culture.

1 comment:

  1. Read in the context, thematic and emotive, of the upper verse, what the narrator is longing for in the lower verse could be the pre-war Japan (from a nationalist perspective) or the pre-war affluent and orderly society (from a communal perspective), or something personal.such as lost love, deceased friends or family members.

    The question raised in the lower verse takes on added significance and adds emotional weight to the poem.

    ReplyDelete