Ten Tanka by Fujiwara no Teika (part III)

It’s once again time for some waka. As I anticipated in the second part, this post will feature birds and tears. Sounds strange right? Let’s take a look at those two poems.

Poem n.63 from the Shinkokinwakashū
shimo mayohu sora ni shiworeshi karigane no kaheru tsubasa ni harusame zo furu

Traduzione italiana
Nel cielo dove si disperde la brina
la pioggia primaverile
cade sulle ali
dell’oca selvatica
che torna stanca al nido

English translation
In the sky where hoar scatters
spring rain
falls on the wings
of the wild goose
who returns exhausted to the nest

Lot’s of symbolism in this piece: karigane can be translated as “wild goose” or “cry of the wild goose” and it’s a symbol of loyalty. The hoar in the sky it’s a metaphor for a starry sky while the rain that falls on the wings represents crying on sleeves, a common metaphor in waka as we have already seen here.
I guess this poem describes the sadness of someone who has to leave his/her lover to return home.

Poem n.487 from the Shinkokinwakashū
Hitorinuru yamatori no wo no shidariwo ni shimo okimayohu toko no tsukikage

Traduzione italiana
La luce della luna
posa disordinatamente brina
sulla coda a spiovente
del fagiano
che dormirà solo

English translation
The moonlight
scatters hoar
on the drooping tail
of the pheasant
who sleeps alone
The pheasant represents loneliness, don’t ask me why. The hoar on the tail of the pheasant is once again a metaphor for crying on sleeves. I think. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Well, that’s everything for today. See you in the next part.

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