in the worrying
of the night wind
the shriek of a single bird
across white salt flats
something flies shrieking
where is my moon?
this night of wind and rain
I wore these in response to a poem by Chiyo-ni presented by Chèvrefeuille of Carpe Diem.
Below you’ll find various sources and literal translations of the poem, by both Chèvrefeuille and some other people who I do not know. But reading the literal translations, this is how I would write it in English if I was indeed the author, which I am not:
I walk and walk
and yet the harvest moon
is in some other sky
Of course there are probably lots of allusions understood by Japanese readers that I do not have the cultural sensitivity to understand. One, for instance, is ‘harvest moon’. It is a full moon in Autumn when the harvest is coming in. Harvest is a time of abundance and plenty, but also hard work and community activity. In an agrarian culture, all hands are on board helping each other to get the winter’s food in before it spoils.
So in such a time of plenty, why is this poet walking and walking, alone in the night, looking for a symbol of plenty that is not in her sky? What a song of longing. How poignant. Such beautiful melancholy.
meigetsu ya ittemo ittemo yoso no sora
autumn’s bright moon,
however far I walked, still afar off
in an unknown sky
meigetsu ya harvest moon;
ittemo ittemo I walk, and I walk,
yoso no sora yet in a sky elsewhere
Harvest Moon —
I walk and I walk to find
some other sky.
yoso no sora
“harvest-moon (and) / going-too going-too / other-place’s sky.”
MH:[harvest moon; / I walk, and I walk, / yet in a sky elsewhere]