Monday, May 01, 2006

Two poems by Saigyo

Rice planting, Nosaka Town, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, May 1996, by Michael

I've long enjoyed the poetry of Saigyo. I just finished a brilliantly translated anthology of his poems. I found two of them particularly compelling. Here they are:


Since I no longer think
of reality
as reality,
what reason would I have
to think of dreams as dreams?
(From "One Hundred Poems: Ten Poems on Impermanence")


Why should I resent
a person's growing cold?
Time was
when he didn't know me
and I didn't know him either
(From poems on love)

8 comments:

Beth said...

Michael, I am taking my reading cues from you lately. After you posted a Ryokan poem, I order two books that I am in the middle of now and really enjoying. Now, I must read this poet. Thanks!

Michael said...

Hi Kim,

Saigyo is well worth the effort.

Matt Kohai said...

He sounds very sage, but very sad. Interesting work.

Beth said...

I also meant to tell you that I love the photo.

Michael said...

Thanks, Kim.

Actually, Kohai, his poetry spans the range of human emotions. I just happen to like these two poems.

Matt Kohai said...

I should check it out, when I have more time and less reading stacked up...

g said...

I'm coming back after taking a spring break, trying to catch up. This fellow sounds good. Thanks for mentioning him.

Michael said...

My pleasure, g.