Japan: the blast of the wintry wind

JAPAN, 11 MARCH 2011

As banked clouds
are swept apart by the wind,
at dawn the sudden cry
of the first wild geese
Winging across the mountains.

In a mountain village
at autumn’s end””
that’s where you learn
what sadness means
in the blast of the wintry wind.

Saigyo (XIIth Century)

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Each of the rain drops has a tale to tell
about the sorrows of people
about the hardships living things go through
about the arrival of sparrows.

Yamamura Bocho (XXth Century)

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Out in the marsh reeds
A bird cries out in sorrow,
As though it had recalled
Something better forgotten.

Ki No Tsurayuri (Xth century)

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The evening sky itself
becomes something to cherish
when I gaze at it,
seeing in one of the clouds
the smoke from her funeral pyre

Murasaki Shikibu (XI century)

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Oh you yellow leaves
that whirl upon the autumn slopes
if only for a moment
do not whirl down in such confusion,
that i may see where my beloved dwells.

Kakinomoto no Hitomaro ( 8th century)