Final Selections from Carter’s Traditional Japanese Poetry

Kyogoku Tamekane. On “Spring Rain,” composed when he held a poem contest at his home

On an evening
set aglow with the crimson
of plum blossoms,
the willow boughs sway softly;
and the spring rain falls.

Retired Emperor Fushimi. On “wind in the pines”

To avoid getting wet
I took cover a moment
in the shade of pines–
where the rain made me listen
to the sound of the wind

Bishop Shinkei. Winter

A pitiful sight–
that smoke rising at evening
from a brushwood fire.

His charcoal sold at market,
a man heads back into the hills.

Takarai Kikaku

Stories about ancestors
spoken on a frosty night.

In fading lamplight
dead spirits are beckoned back
into the world

Same author. Summer

Evening summer–
and gazing out into it,
a woman alone.

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