A Fascinating Tanka Project

Michael Dylan Welch, will known poet and tanka authority, sent me this fascinating project.

The following translation (by Emiko Miyashita and Michael Dylan Welch) that was featured on the back of 150,000,000 U.S. postage stamps in 2012:

ひさかたのひかりのどけき春の日にしづ心なく花の散るらん
hisakata no hikari nodokeki harunohi ni shizugokoro naku hana no chiruran

the light filling the air
is so mild this spring day
only the cherry blossoms
keep falling in haste—
why is that so?

The poem is by Ki no Tomonori (紀友則), and the translation is from their book 100 Poets: Passions of the Imperial Court, published in 2008 by PIE Books in Tokyo. It’s a translation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (100 poems by 100 poets), compiled in the thirteenth century by Fujiwara no Teika. To see pictures of the stamp and to learn more about the book, please see the following links (and a page of Welch’s own about my tanka):

http://www.graceguts.com/translations/hyakunin-isshu
http://www.graceguts.com/digressions/cherry-blossom-stamp
http://www.graceguts.com/tanka

Cherry Blossom Stamp Image

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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