Ten Tanka by Fujiwara no Teika (part IV)

Daaaaaamn, just how much time passed since my last post?! I’ve been a bit busy with kancolle university and I didn’t feel like writing here. However, today I’m in the right mood, so let’s read two more waka of Fujiwara no Teika.

Poem n.363 from the Shinkokinwakashū

Miwataseba hana mo momiji mo nakarikeri ura no tomaya no aki no yuhugure

Traduzione italiana
Guardandomi attorno
non vi erano nè fiori di ciliegio
nè foglie d’acero rosse
Solo il tramonto
fra le capanne della baia

English Translation
Looking around me
neither cherry blossoms
nor red maple leaves are here
only the sunset
among the harbour’s huts

The word hana means flower or blossom, but in poetry it often means “cherry blossom”. Momiji is the Japanese maple tree, known for the beautiful red colour of the leaves during autumn. Just like cherry blossoms are the emblem of spring, red maple leaves are the emblem of autumn.
Tomaya is a house made of reeds. Hut is probably the most appropriate translation.
This poem is part of the sanseki no waka, the three most famous pieces of the Shinkokinwakashū that describes the autumn sunset.

Poem n.980 from the Shinkokinwakashū

Sode ni huke sazona tabine no yume ha miji omohu katayori kayou urakaze

Traduzione italiana
Soffia sulle mie maniche
il vento della baia che spira
dalla persona a cui penso
poiché sul giaciglio del mio viaggio
non farò nemmeno dei sogni

English Translation
Blows on my sleeves
the sea breeze that comes
from the person I think about
on the bed of my journey
I won’t even dream

That was hard to translate into English! And I didn’t even do a good job. Anyway, in this poem there’s a nice word-play: katayori has two meanings here, the first one is “from the person” and the second is “from the direction”.  The sense here is “from the direction of the person”.
This poem is kinda melancholic, isn’t it?Well, see you next time with more poetry and stuff.

Source: Tollini, Aldo – La concezione poetica di Fujiwara no Teika

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.