Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Seventy-Nine



さきょうのだいぶあきすけ

あきかぜに
たなびくくもの
たえまより

もれいずるつきの
かげのさやけさ





79

Sakyo no Tayu Akisuke (Fujiwara no Akisuke)

See how clear and bright
Is the moonlight, finding its way
Among the riven clouds

That, with drifting autumn-wind,
Gracefully float on the sky!






79

You said, how beautiful!
The more so 
to me,  your having 

seen it so.



Notes

Fujiwara no Akisuke was a magistrate and poet/courtier active in the 1100s C.E. whose work was included in several collections. He compiled the Shika Wakashū. The poet plays with the concept of the moon appearing and disappearing amid racing clouds, which could have also been oblique political commentary in difficult times.

The Old Nurse continues, in this poem, her close study of working people, in this case mochi makers pounding rice. Rice-sheaves nearby indicate autumn. Although a monk pauses to admire the moon, the workers merely get on with their tasks, which go round-the-clock when the moon is full.

Risa notes that shared fleeting beauty adds value, especially when shared with a loved one.



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