an example of Japanese court #poetry

For Pola of the Escritorium (as an aside to our discussion under this post).

Here’s a sample of Japanese court poetry from an 8th century poem. This was an example given on my course to explain how Chinese characters came to be used in Japanese for their sounds as well as their meaning. (We had a slightly different translation)

Anyway, see how many words English uses compared to the Japanese? It looks like linguistic littering!

court poetry


10 thoughts on “an example of Japanese court #poetry

  1. Honoured to have sparked a post! I think Japanese has a lot of nuances to in in words for natural phenomena, like the word for ‘the pattern for when sunlight gets dappled through the leaves of trees’ and what was also interesting in the translation was repeated the use adverbs ‘faintly’ ‘darkly’.

    There’s a certain insistence in that ‘ly’ which also seems heavy and convoluted in addition to the fractured sounding syntax. In the Japanese there is also a higher concentration of monosyllabic words which can be spoken in short, clean phrasing. Just a few thoughts! ~ P ~

    1. I figured it had to be done! 🙂 I think you’re right (though I don’t speak enough Japanese to be able to provide a more qualified opinion on the matter).

      1. True, but I recently discovered she wasn’t all she’s made up to be, so that might be a good thing. 😛

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