Now that Spring is finally here, and cherry blossoms are blooming in Japan, I thought this poem was especially fitting:
|もろともに||Morotomo ni||Let us think of each|
|哀れと思へ||Aware to omoe||other fondly,|
|山桜||Yama-zakura||O mountain cherries!|
|花より外に||Hana yori hoka ni||For, outside of your blossoms,|
|知る人もなし||Shiru hito mo nashi||there’s no one who knows my feelings.|
The poem was composed by Major Archbishop Gyōson (1055-1135), who according to Mostow, was a famed yamabushi or mountain ascetic, and a very prolific author in his day.
As Mostow explains, the poem itself is fairly straightforward, but the poem’s headnote has confused many scholars over time, stating that it was composed “when he saw cherry blossoms unexpectedly at Ōmine.” Was it the time of year, or the location that made it so unexpected? No one really knows for sure.
But, the joy of seeing cherry blossoms at this time of year is hard to deny. 🙂
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