Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One Man's Maple Moon: Spring Day Tanka by Ki no Tomonori

English Original

the light filling the air
is so mild this spring day
only the cherry blossoms
keep falling in haste --
why is that so?

Back Cover Tanka, Ribbons,  8:1, Spring/Summer 2012

Ki no Tomonori
Translated by Emiko Miyashita and Michael Dylan Welch

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

不斷匆忙地飄落 --
為什麼會這樣呢 ?

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

不断匆忙地飘落 --
为什麽会这样呢 ?

Bio Sketch

Ki no Tomonori (c. 850 – c. 904) was an early Heian waka poet of the court. He was a compiler of the Kokin Wakashū (Collection of Japanese Poems of Ancient and Modern Times), and several of his poems were included in this anthology.

1 comment:

  1. Ls 1--4 is a simple statement of the narrator's observation while L5, the rhetorical question, lifts the poem a notch, sparking the reader's reflection on the ephemerality of beauty.

    A haiku or a tanka without "rhetoric" was likely to be no more than a brief observation without poetic tension or illumination.

    -- Donald Keene, The Winter Sun Shines in: A Life of Masaoka Shiki, p 57.