Friday, 7 October 2016

Naku Shika No

#autumn #waka #sarumaru #heian #japanese #poetry

Oku yama ni 

Momiji fumi wake 

Naku shika no 

Koe kiku toki

Aki wa kanashiki 

This is one of the earliest poems to use the deer's cry phrase.

I translate this as

Deep in the mountains

not mountainside as some do

Momiji is maple leaves but I suspect fumiwake is one long compound verbal and the romaji should be rendered as one word however to translate accurately
its fumu+wakeru
is the poet trampling on leaves or pushing through a pile of them?
note that wake can mean dividing so I choose

Pushing through maple leaves

Naku shika no the cry of the deer(s)

Koe kiku toki

sound works time the sound works on effects or maybe hear time

Aki autumn wa subject marker

kanashiki is Bungo modern form is kanashii sad mournful pathetic

Deep in the mountains
Pushing through maple leaves
(I hear) the cry of the deer
A sound making autumn mournful

Yes its four lines not five but it makes the translation a poem in English and not just a paraphrase?