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May you find yourself in the world…and may you enjoy the company!

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The poem appeares as No. 658 in the Kokin Wakashu, an old anthology of poems from the 12th century. Komachi was a classic even at that time: she lived in the 9th century.

utsutsu ni hitome
mishigoto wa arazu

A line-by-line translation:

in [my] dreams / along dream paths
without resting my legs
[I] go often [to you]
in the real world, a single glimpse
is different.
Last edited by yoko
A poem from the Kokin Wakashuu

The Kokinshu is a famous anthology of some 1100 poems from the 12th century. The author of this poem is unknown.

momiji midarete
wataraba nishiki
naka ya taenamu

A confused array
of red leaves in the current
of Tatsuta River.
Were I to cross,
I would break the fabric of a rich brocade.
Thank you yoko for contributing to classic prose.
I don't really know anything about Japanese classic prose or poetry. This is a very unique addition to Givnology.

There is only one Japanese poem that I can add:

The Fisherman

Li Po

The earth has drunk the snow,

And now the plum trees are blossoming once more.

The willow leaves are like new gold;

The lake is molten silver.

It is the hour

When sulphur-laden butterflies

Rest their velvet heads upon the flowers.

The fisherman casts forth his nets

From a motionless boat,

And the surface of the lake is broken.

His thoughts are at home with her

To whom he will return with food,

Like a swallow to its mate.


Images (1)
  • NET
Dear Yoko, thank you so much for sharing some of classical Japanese poetry, which is truly beautiful.

I appreciate haiku/senryu form. But, other than the 5 - 7 - 5 syllable pattern, probably Western attempts of this "condensed" poetry doesn't come close to the traditional Japanese art. But it is a sign of connection in beauty to what the culture of the World has to offer.

The following is a senryu I wrote and posted a while ago in a haiku contest (on ):

Life flows placidly

we have the choice to be free

to cry or to laugh

Love and Joy.
Margherita Smile

Freedom by Kent - a Canadian artist
Last edited by Margherita
Thank you all for joining me in my post.

Zeami, a famous Noh author, in his play Izutzu, some verses:
"A boy and a girl, the children of two men who traveled over the countryside, used to play together beside a well. As they grew up, they both felt rather self-conscious about continuing the old relationship, but the boy had set his heart on marrying the girl, and she was determined that she would be his wife, and refused to agree when her father tried to betroth her to someone else. The boy sent the girl this poem:

Since I last saw you,
it seems to have grown until
I am the taller -
my height that we two measured
against the curb of the well.
She replied:

The mid-parted hair
I once measured against yours
hangs towards my waist.
For whom should it be put up,
unless it be for you?
After many such poems had passed between them, their wishes were realized and they became man and wife.

Tadashi Azoma


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  • Tadashiazoma

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