Sunday, November 10, 2013


The under leaves
In the autumn wind
Must have become cold:
In the moor of little lespedezas
The quail are crying.

Aki kaze ni
Shitaha ya samuku
Kohagi ga hara ni
Uzuku nara naki

Fujiwara no Michimune, 10th century, trans. Arthur Waley, included in Donald Keene, Anthology of Japanese Literature, New York, Grove Press, 1955. 

Note:  November now and it began to feel that way yesterday.  Friday night's moon was the very best I’d ever seen;  a slim bold yellow crescent, she lay on her back far beyond Paoli (possibly out to Pottstown)?   The sky is not limitless.  The average top of weather is that far away.  The first lespedeza image is from the University of Connecticut;  the second is a woodcut by Eiichi Kotuzuka (b. 1906 – d.1979), a painter and graphic artist from Osaka, illustrating precisely the event, if not the mood, described in this waka poem by Fujiwara no Michimune (d. 1084).  I dislike and distrust winter intensely. Let it wait.

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