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    漏り来る月

    Gorgeous, gorgeous weekend—I think the entire population of New York that wasn’t away for Thanksgiving until tonight was outside until dark both days. Absolutely lovely.

    もみぢ葉をなに惜しみけん木の間より漏り来る月は今宵こそ見れ

    中務卿具平親王

    *******

    momidji-ba wo / nani oshimiken / ko no ma yori / morikuru tsuki ha / koyoi koso mire

    Nakatsuka Kyoutomo Hirashinnou

    *******

    For what did I rue
    the passing of maple leaves?
    Tonight the first sight
    of the moonlight filtering
    from between the trees

    The Imperial Prince Kyoutomo Nakatsuka

    A relatively straightforward poem, that: the poet had originally felt sadness, both at the falling of the autumn leaves and because poetic ache is traditionally the proper response to the beauty of the moon in autumn, but now takes pleasure in realizing that their passing has made possible the new and special kind of wintry beauty of the moon visible between close-growing trees.

    3 Responses to “漏り来る月”

    1. Amritas says:

      “dji” is a nice compromise romanization for “ぢ” which contains its original initial consonant d- while also containing a “j” to indicate its current initial consonant. The digraph “dj” for “j” is familiar to English speakers because of names like “Djibouti” and “Djakarta” (obsolete).

      The timing of this post was perfect for me. I was in NYC this weekend, so I literally did see the moon through the trees there.

    2. Amritas says:

      Here’s how the poet might have pronounced his poem back in the day:

      momidi-ba wo / nani oshimiken / ko no ma yori / morikuru tuki fa / koyofi koso mire

      – Nakatukasa Kyaũ Tomofira Shinwaũ

    3. Sean says:

      Shades of 古文 class! According to one of my old teachers, there are still regions in Shikoku in which た行 is pronounced the old way, I think, though I’m guessing you’d know better than I. And next time you’re in the City, let me know if you want to get coffee or have a drink.

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