The First Signs of Spring: Poem Number 35

January 26, 2011

Japanese Plum Blossom

Courtesy of Wikipedia

人はいさ Hito wa isa
心も知らず Kokoro mo shirazu
ふるさとは Furusato wa
花ぞむかしの Hana zo mukashi no
香に匂ひける Ka ni nioi keru

Which Professor Mostow translates as:

With people, well
you can never know their hearts;
but in my old village
the flowers brightly bloom with
the scent of the days of old.

The author, Ki no Tsurayuki, is among the composers of the official anthology, the Kokin Wakashō (古今和歌集), and coined the Six Immortals of Poetry therein. He wrote the famous and fictional Tosa Diary, and is also the cousin of Ki no Tomonori who composed poem 33.

Note: Here the reference to “blossoms” is for plum blossoms in particular, called umé (梅).

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