Feb 082013

Since this is my only outlet, I fear you must all bear my less tolerable eccentricities. Anyway, I’ve been reading some Japanese poetry (in English) and translating it into Hebrew – it’s a poetic game of telephone across languages, cultures and centuries! Hours of fun. I liked this one. My Hebrew-literate readers who know me will surely see why (it almost seemed like a Hebrew poem already).

סוגאווארה מיצ’יזאניי (845-903)
בעת יפוח מזרח

בְּעֵת יָפוּחַ מִזְרָח
שִׁלְחִי־נָא בְשָׂמַיִךְ,
צִיצַת שְׁזִיף;
אַף כִּי אֲדֹונֵךְ אֵינֶנּוּ,
אַל תִּשְׁכְּחִי אֶת הָאָבִיב.1
  1. When the east wind blows
    Send forth your fragrance,
    Plum blossom;
    Though your master be absent,
    Forget not the spring.

    (Sugawara Michizane)

  2 Responses to “An experiment.”

  1. i hope you’re not including me in your category of the “Hebrew-literate.” that would be far too generous; i’m more “Hebrew-aware.”

  2. In the “original” English:

    When the east wind blows,
    Send me your perfume,
    Blossoms of the plum:
    Though your lord be absent,
    Forget not the spring.
    (Sugawara Michizane)

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