Again, from Carter’s Traditional Japanese Poetry
Sugawara no Michizane
Idle Thoughts on a Winter Night
Beneath eaves of white thatch, before the hearth–
the servant boy who was at my side leans against the wall, asleep.
My calendar says only a month of winter remains–
which means I have been magistrate here now for three years.
By nature I don’t like wine–but sorrow it hard to dispel;
with my heart set on poems, I cannot conduct government.
So with a thousand thoughts about my plight I sit–
while beyond the window the sky announces dawn’s approach.
An anonymous poet, from the Spring sequence of Kokinshu
It is not as though
springtime came to some villages
and not to others.
Why then may we see flowers
blooming and failing to bloom?
Another poem from the same sequence, by Tsurayuki
Observe how the haze
of spring spread its gauzy mantle
on Miwa Mountain:
might flowers be blooming there
of which men have no knowledge?