As Banked Clouds Poem by Saigyo

As Banked Clouds

Rating: 2.9


As banked clouds
are swept apart by the wind,
at dawn the sudden cry
of the first wild geese
winging across the mountains.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Fabrizio Frosini 01 June 2016

with just a little change, the syllabic pattern in the translation of this waka (tanka) would be respected [= 3 7 5 6 7, and not 3 7 6 5 7 syllables] As banked clouds are swept apart by the wind, at dawn the sudden cry of the first wild geese winging across the mountains

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Fabrizio Frosini 08 July 2015

In Saigyo's time, the Man'yoshu was no longer a big influence on waka poetry, compared to the Kokin Wakashu. Where the Kokin Wakashu was concerned with subjective experience, word play, flow, and elegant diction (neither colloquial nor pseudo-Chinese) , the Shin Kokin Wakashu (formed with poetry written by Saigyo and others writing in the same style) was less subjective, had fewer verbs and more nouns, was not as interested in word play, allowed for repetition, had breaks in the flow, was slightly more colloquial and more somber and melancholic. Due to the turbulent times, Saigyo focuses not just on mono no aware (sorrow from change) but also on sabi (loneliness) and kanashi (sadness) . Though he was a Buddhist monk, Saigyo was still very attached to the world and the beauty of nature. [from W.]

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