(1118 - 1190 / Japan)

Thought I Was Free - Poem by Saigyo

Thought I was free
of passion, so this melancholy
comes as surprise:
a woodcock shoots up from the marsh
where autumn's twilight falls.

Comments about Thought I Was Free by Saigyo

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (9/18/2017 3:11:00 PM)

    A high dose of melancholy passed to the reader through a very few words expressing deep sorrow, mind seldom remains free.
    Nicely penned.
    Thanks poet.
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  • Edward Kofi Louis (9/18/2017 3:10:00 PM)

    Autumn's twilight falls! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (9/18/2017 11:22:00 AM)

    Here is a small poem that expresses deep sadness by the Japanese poet Saigyo!
    To think that you are free from passion but truly not free - from the passions that draws
    you into a state of meloncholy.
    A brilliant poem
    (Report) Reply

  • Seema Sharma Rimi (9/18/2017 9:33:00 AM)

    Great observation. Nicely penned poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (9/18/2017 8:31:00 AM)

    Wonderful self observation. Even when life around us is sanguin and beautiful we could be hit by an unknown sadness. Our body and mind could be expressing and feeling our own internal rhythm in periods of quiet solitude. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (9/18/2017 1:53:00 AM)

    Man is a slave of sin unless he is freed by the truth...This is indeed the most important king of freedom... Freedom from eternal damnation.... Great poem by Saigyo..... (Report) Reply

    Lantz Pierre (9/18/2017 2:36:00 AM)

    What is sin?

  • Lantz Pierre (9/18/2017 1:53:00 AM)

    An absolutely wonderful play of obversations, internal and external, how they commingle, reflect and effect each other. The spare lines are perfectly laid out, perfectly broken, perfectly connected (with a note of praise to the tranlator) . The first line opening wide, unbound, inviting bravado and a feeling of escape. The binds are not broken, passion is internal jailer. Although the thought of passion conjures an expansiveness, an explosiveness even, which is immediately contradicted by melancholy. Drab and passive and withdrawing in the face of passion. Melancholy connects with passion only in the sense that is an emotion, an affectation of the heart. And so this surprise is both an opening outward, an unwrapping of what was hidden, and a withdrawal into the quietude of an overarching sadness. Then bang! Nature, external, explodes onto the scene, interrupts, takes center stage with its irrepressible and exuberant presence. But the last line again sinks, contradicts the expansive, fades with the dimming of the light during the dimming of the year. The play of control and what is beyond our control, stepping into reality and retreating into emotion, it's all wonderfully depicted and illustrative of what experience is really like. Contradictory and complimentary, a dance of perceptions, a layering on and stripping off all at once. Life, bound to the flow of the whole world, the world o the mind in the world of an objectively existing reality. (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (6/2/2016 1:28:00 PM)

    Saigyo openly expressed the loneliness of a hermit's life. His melancholy was not subjective; it came from his observations of the cycles of nature and the political and social chaos around him.. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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