Scattered Blossoms

Blossoms from the Thundercloud Plum tree in my yard with sky in the background
Blossoms from the Thunderhead Plum tree in my yard.

96) 花さそふ Hana sasou
あらしの庭の Arashi no niwa no
雪ならで Yuki nara de
ふりゆくものは Furi yuku mono wa
わが身なりけり Wa ga mi narikeri

It entices the flowers—
the storm—but through the garden’s white,
it is not snow,
and what it is that’s scattering
are, in fact, the years of my life!

translation by Professor Mostow

The two Thundercloud Plum trees in my yard have started blooming again this year, but already the blossoms have scattered in the wind and rain. At times like this I am reminded of this poem (more details in my other blog) from the famous Hyakunin Isshu poetry anthology, as well as this poem in same anthology written centuries earlier by a lady of the court named Ōno no Komachi:

6) 花の色は Hana no iro wa
うつりにけりな Utsuri ni keri na
いたづらに Itazura ni
わが身世にふる Waga mi yo ni furu
ながめせしまに Nagame seshi ma ni

The color of flowers
has faded indeed
in vain
have I passed through the world
while gazing at the falling rains.

translation by Professor Mostow

I’ll post more about my favorite scholar/poet Sugawara no Michizane soon. Until then, enjoy!

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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