Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | January 30, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Though Frosts Come Down

by Taigu Ryokan (1758 – 1831).

 

Though Frosts Come Down

 

Though frosts come down

night after night,

what does it matter?

they melt in the morning sun.

Though the snow falls                                     5

each passing year,

what does it matter?

with spring days it thaws.

Yet once let them settle

on a man’s head,                                             10

fall and pile up,

go on piling up—

then the new year

may come and go,

but never you’ll see them fade away        15

 

(translated by Burton Watson)

 

Notes:

http://www.hermitary.com/articles/ryokan.html

http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/R/Ryokan/

http://www.tamucc.edu/~sencerz/ryokan.htm

 

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