Sunday, May 27, 2007


I continue posting my Shunshô prints with this one of Dō-in Hoshi, number 82 in the 100 Poets, 100 Poems series (Ogura Hyakunin Isshu). It was the second one I purchased while in Tokyo on the 2006 New York City Opera tour, and is a page from a book thought to have been published around 1775.

I thought he vaguely looked like me . . .

Dō-in became a monk at the age of eighty, having written poetry his whole life. I am sympathetic to this fellow. As I move around the city, I wonder whether my thoughts and feelings unfurl in the air above my pate, wherever I am, for all to read.

I only hope the penmanship is as beautiful.

Dō-in Hoshi

Omoi wabi
Satemo inochi wa
Aru mono o
Uki ni taenu wa
Namida nari keri

The Monk Dō-in

Thoughts of love
devour my days, for such
is the fate from which
I shall never escape,
despite these tears I shed.

The Monk

Though in deep distress
Through your cruel blow, my life
Still is left to me.
But I cannot keep my tears;
They break forth from my grief.

After my week of very involved travel and performances (which I shall continue to write about in the next few days) I relax with non-musical pursuits.

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