Any good book of old Japanese poetry of any form like tanka, haiku and so on?
Post your favorite poems!
Manyoshu II: 199 blows my asshole out, but it's too long to put here.
By the jeweled cord
Of Unebi mountain,
Since the Sage-king's reign
Have been born
A line of gods,
As the hemlock tree
They ruled, yet one
Yamato abandoned and
The blue-black clays
Of Nara mountain passed through
How did you
Feel then, my lord?
Far from heaven
In the country,
Yet in rock-running
From the palace of Ôtsu
A very god,
Your great palace
Stood here, I heard;
Your great hall
Stood here, they say, but
Now grow thickly;
The mist rises,
Hazing spring sunshine:
Your many stoned
A sad sight, indeed.
MYS I: 29
I saw Fuji
I saw Mount Fuji
Since red snow doesn’t fall
Fuji does not deserve be honoured as a fine mountain.
I saw the tapering form
From a train window
And wondered how this formidable mountain
Could be vanquished.
Towering above me
A menacing spirit
Glaring down at me and my wretched life.
I have seen Fuji
I have seen Mount Fuji.
Fly over Fuji from the foothills to the peak
Mock with your crimson mouth.
Fuji is a sorrowful palace of snow
Rage and bluster
Mount Fuji is the image of Japan
A deep nostalgic dream
A palace of sorrow where demons lie.
Look at Fuji
Look at Mount Fuji
You who the great Hokusai painted
I saw the spark of youth in that image
Now you are an old and withered mud pie
You who stare up at the sky with bulging eyes
Why try and escape in such thick snow.
Strike Mount Fuji on the shoulder
Dazzlingly white as it is
It is not a silver castle
It is a doomed snow palace
I stand before you
A lone woman who will not bow down her head to you
A woman who mocks you.
Mount Fuji, oh Fuji!
I a stubborn woman
Stand here whistling
Defiantly waiting for you
With your raging passion which roars like fire
To seek your vengeance.
ume no hana
aruji nashi tote
haru o wasuruna
When the east wind blows
let it send your fragrance,
oh plum blossoms.
Although your master is gone,
do not forget the spring.
Can we briefly make this a Japanese literature thread in general?
I'm just trying to identify the author and title of this story; here's the first page or so pictured. It's credited to Yasushi Inoue and titled as "The Star Festival Town", but I can't seem to find any definite proof of that being the case. The only other candidate for authorship I have is Tsumura Setsuko, since it would appear that she wrote a story of the same name, but the description I found of her story does not appear to match up with the story as written.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
i'm not really into the ">reading the translations" meme but honestly reading translations of poetry seems quite odd.
something that heavily relies on wordplay, flow etc. may not translate to another language
Reading poets who have interesting content in translation can be worthwhile. True, there's not much point in reading certain Russian Symbolists or the like in translation, but those like Dante, Goethe, Rilke, et al. who seek to express allegories and Truth are beautiful and inspiring in any language, despite the fact you'll be missing out on a lot of their formal qualities.
The problem with reading Japanese poetry is that the way that it is constructed was fundamentally different.
Because of the sound system alliteration and rhythmic use of c-v-c-v patterns are more prized than rhyming, which is not really a feature of older Japanese poetry.
When reading Japanese poetry it is even more important to remember that the poem is as much, almost more, a product of the translator, as it is of the original author.
>When reading Japanese poetry it is even more important to remember that the poem is as much, almost more, a product of the translator, as it is of the original author.
Truly. As part of my Classical Japanese class, we had to translate some poems by Bashou, Buson and Issa (and also lot of prose, but that's beside the point now). The end products varied a lot between students.
Slavishly following the 5-7-5 in non-Japanese rule is a dumb meme. The count syllables slightly differently than us and can pack more meaning into a single syllable due to their pictographic language. Translators in particular who attempt to translate the original 5-7-7 into something too close to that in English are just trying to bullshit you.
Plus, haiku derives from a cooperative poetry GAME were one person provides the first stanza (what we now recognize as a haiku), then people take turns adding their own stanzas.
Over time, the most celebrated poets would get invited to the parties and get the honor of starting the round more often, and those best able to get everyone else started off became honored in their own right for just their opening verses: the haiku.
Often, the longer poems became bawdy, comedic pieces that shat all over convention, cliche, class, and even those present, so the picturesque first verses we know and love are a little misleading. Those first verses often got trolled, and were set up precisely to be trolled.
Not unlike some first posts on a certain chinese comix board I could think off.
>yfw OP has slyly started a round of comic, poetic shitposting.
The world of dew
Is a world of dew
Eight inches strong, it is my favourite thing;
If I'm alone at night, I embrace it fully -
A beautiful woman hasn't touched it for ages. Within my fundoshi there is an entire universe!
haiku isn't really that old, just so you know
there are three main collections of old poetry that were published by imperial order. the man'yoshuu is the longest because it contains poetry from a period of about 300 years. this has a bunch of different styles in it like long- and short-form tanka
the second is the kokin wakashuu, compiled after tanka became the main form of poetry (called waka -- or 'japanese poetry' to distinguish it from the chinese kanshi). this became the text to quote from according to the many strict rules of poetry composition that developed in the court
the third is the shin kokin wakashuu, which was compiled after 'renga' became it's own style. renga is a collaborative 'linked verse' style of poetry that developed from 'uta-awase' -- a kind of poetry competition that were held in the heian courts. the opening 5-7-5 verse of this would eventually become haiku at the end of the 19th century as an adaptation of japanese-style poetry to poetic ideas of the west, i.e. composed by a single poet, rather than a collaborative effort
you'll be able to find translations of these three texts. it really helps knowing a little japanese though since the poetry relies on so many linguistic tricks that are actually untranslatable. standard translations are still beautiful though
i recommend the book 'japanese court poetry' by earl miner and robert h bower since it seems to be the standard entry-point into understanding the poetry of japan. it is very dry.
>Because of the sound system alliteration and rhythmic use of c-v-c-v patterns are more prized than rhyming, which is not really a feature of older Japanese poetry.
What's a c-v-c-v pattern?
I always just assumed it was about jacking off. Ikkyu never let his monkhood get in the way of having a good time.
Ten days in this temple and my mind is reeling! Between my legs the red thread stretches
If you come some other day and ask for me,
Better look in a fish stall, a sake shop, or a brothel.
And this one I love,
It has the original mouth but remains wordless;
It is surrounded by a magnificent mound of hair.
Sentient beings can get completely lost in it
But it is also the birthplace
of all the Buddhas of the ten thousand worlds.
Does anyone love Saigyo as much as me?
Clear waters unchanged
in a meadow
I saw once long ago,
will you remember
this face of mine?
On the night when rain falls driven by the wind, when snow falls mingled with the rain
Feeling helplessly cold, I take a lump of hard-baked salt and nibble on it
While I sip sake lees diluted in hot water, I cough and sniffle with a running nose
Stroking my scanty beard, I say in my pride "There's none greater than I!"
But I am still cold, and so I pull up my hempen bedclothes around my shoulders
And, though I put on every sleeveness jacket I have, the night is still cold
As for the man poorer than I am, his father and mother must be starving and growing numb with cold
His wife and children must be begging for food and crying
At times like these, how do you manage to get through your life?
(Reply by The Destitute Man)
Although they say that the heaven and earth are vast, have they become cramped for me?
Although they say that the sun and moon are bright, do they not favor me with their light?
Is it the same with all men, or thus for me alone?
By rare chance I was born a man, and as any man I toil to make a living on the land
Wearing only tattered clothes, an unpadded sleeveless hemp jacket hanging from my shoulders like seaweeds
And in this dingy low-roofed hut, this crooked hut with leaning walls, I lie on straw spread on bare ground
With my parents near my pillow, and my wife and children at my feet, huddled together bewailing and moaning
No smoke rises from the cooking stove, and in the pot a spider spins its web.
While we moan and groan oblivious even of the very way of cooking rice
"To cut the end off of what is already very short," as the saying goes,
There comes the voice of the whip-brandishing village headman, shouting for me, standing outside the place where we sleep.
Is it really this hopeless, the path of a man's life in this world?