mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Premiers pas/ toddle toddle

I continue to be entranced by the worlds that open when you know a little-- a very little-- Chinese. The beginning of Heike Monogatari, say, which incandescens happily reminds me of.


As expounded here.

Gion shouja no kane no koe     The knell of the bells at the Gion temple
shogyou mujou no hibiki ari.     Echoes the impermanence of all things.
Shara souju no hana no iro     The colour of the flowers on its double-trunked tree
jousha hissui no kotowari o arawasu.     Reveals the truth that to flourish is to fall

Never could remember shogyou mujou- 'all is evanescent' in previous years, since my Japanese reader's eye registered it as 'all lines are not normal'. And those souju- two sala trees, using what looked like the counter for ships. It's not-- that's 隻, to hold one bird or Atlantic freighter. This is 雙, to hold two birds. Just try, I say.

Counters expounded here.
Tags: chinese, japanese, verse

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