Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Images and ink (11)

Image: Above the clouds, woodprint by Yoshida Hiroshi (1928)

Ink: Fuji, a poem by Kusano Shinpei, translated by Leith Morton:

A snowslide on Fuji swallowed the lives of 15 students in a matter of seconds
This mountain unlike any other in Japan.
Fuji does not believe that a column of monks is too heavy.
Nor that a mountain observatory is too noisy.
Sometimes clouds furry like mufflers wind round and round Fuji.
Sometimes classic pince-nez clouds float close by.
In the sea of trees even snow-grouse have multiplied.
The Osawa landslide must have carved out a huge mass of mountain.
That too does not bother Fuji.
Leaving everything to humanity and physics.
Before long it may yet poke out again a tongue of fire.
That too is left to nature.
Fuji is there.
Fuji simply exists.
Heaven overhead always.


Kittie Howard said...

You just touched Mankind's soul. Great job!

☆sapphire said...

Beautifully translated!! This conveys vividly the majesty and grandeur of Fuji!

I suppose you know well that Kusano Shinpei depicts a sapphire dragon who lives in the sky over Fuji so charmingly in the poem "満月の海に: In a Full Moon Sea" in the Fuji series. The dragon has a ruby dot on its tail. The dragon's sapphire perpendicular line is lovely. I'm glad that Kusano's Fuji has this dragon as well as other dragons(surely metaphors). Oh sorry. My comment must be "Gaden Insui: 我田引水).

Project Hyakumeizan said...

Sapphire: you "Gaden-Insui" always greatly enhances this humble blog. Many thanks for the reference to Kusano's dragon poem - I shall look it up next time I visit the collection of his poems - I say ' visit ' because I discovered the book quite by accident while looking for something else deep in the stacks of the Zurich Central Library. He seems to be the modern poet of Mt Fuji...