October 18th, 2020

hasui rain

Monk Saigyou

So have finished Miner's introduction to court poetry which is all well and good. A little irked at his sneering at the imagism of the Kyougoku poets.

(Court poetry of the Kamakura period was, politically, a hoot ie poetry *was* politics and if your school of poetry was in the ascendant you got to compile the Imperial anthology, leaving out all the poets whose prosody you disliked, meaning the Kyougoku school. And the Reizei but they weren't, so far as I can see, as innovative as the Ryougokus.)

Like, I'm sure if your classical Japanese is up to it, the clever wordplay of trad waka is charming and resonant, but if it's not, the images of the later poets will do nicely instead.

But what I mostly take away from both Miner and Waiting for the Wind is that nobody is a patch on Saigyou, he of the negawakuba epitaph to the Saiyūki Gaiden.

Hana no shita ni shite

If I have my wish, I will die under the cherry blossoms

(There's the concluding lines that Minekura left out:
Sono kisaragi no
Mochidzuki no koro

at the full moon of the second month)

I'd quote more but all the reasonably translated, c&p-able, sites are pdfs. But

has a bunch with both Japanese and English. Enough to be going on with.