Japanese Poetry

As a change of pace, some selections from Traditional Japanese Poetry trans. Steven D. Carter

A poem written by Kakinomoto no Hitomaro when Prince Karu took lodging in the fields of Aki

Off to the eastward,
the first shimmer of daylight
rises on the fields–
and when I turn round to see,
the moon is sinking away

Another by the same author

You wave-plovers
of dusk on the Omi Sea–
each time you cry out
my heart withers within me,
set on things of long ago

By Sami Mansei, one of my favorites in the whole collection:

Our life in this world–
to what shall I compare it?
It is like a boat
rowing out at break of day,
leaving not a trace behind.

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