Tag Archives: transience

BRIEF INTERVAL

Another loose translation of a very old Chinese poem, this time by Chen Zi’ang (661-702) A Song on Climbing Youzhou Tower Unseen are those who came before; Unseen are those to come after. Thinking how endless are heaven and earth, … Continue reading

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REFLECTION

The old year has departed.  Here is a loose translation of a waka by Ki No Tsurayuki (c.  872-945).  You will recall that a waka, in form, is like a hokku — but with two extra lines added.  In Japanese … Continue reading

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NOT LONG TO STAY: HOUSMAN’S LENTEN LILY

If you read the earlier posting on Alfred Edward Housman’s poem Loveliest of Trees, you will notice a similarity of spirit with today’s poem, which is the 29th in his collection A Shropshire Lad. Also a “spring” poem, it is … Continue reading

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FOREVER AUTUMN: THOMAS HARDY’S DURING WIND AND RAIN

Today we shall take a look at Thomas Hardy’s poem During Wind and Rain. It might be puzzling at first glance, but one quickly notices that the first five lines of each stanza depict a pleasant scene of middle-class family … Continue reading

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UNREAD NEWS OF BYGONE DAYS

Tomorrow brings New Year’s Eve, followed by the calendar year 2014. The old Romans had a god — Janus — for whom our month of January is named. He had two faces looking in opposite directions, one forward, one backward. … Continue reading

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AUTUMN AND THE MORNING GLORY

Today I would like to talk about morning glory hokku. Why?  Because I happened to pass a blooming morning glory vine this morning, as you can see from the above photo.  Also, in old Japanese hokku, the morning glory was … Continue reading

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ALAS, THAT SPRING SHOULD VANISH WITH THE ROSE

Issa wrote a hokku for the end of spring: Sough, sough — Spring departs; The grass of the fields. If you do not like the respectable old word sough for the rustling, sighing sound of the wind through the grasses, you … Continue reading

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