Home > 1. Famous Poems, 3. My Poetry & Translations > Kameda Bosai, Old Trees

Kameda Bosai, Old Trees

Confucian Poem LACMA M.91.22.jpg

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RT has been resolutely ignoring his creative impulses (such as they were) in the face of the many tasks (not the least of which is grieving) that have followed on his mother’s death. Resolutely ignoring, that is, until a spontaneous visit to his local bookstore brought him face-to-face with an alluring poem by Kameda Bosai, a Japanese poet (or rather, scholar and literati painter) that RT had never heard of before. Well, the temptation proved too much for the sterner angels of RT’s nature, and he offers the results of his latest foray into translation below. He knows that mom would approve.

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old trees crimson at spring’s glance;

waterfalls icy, smash and echo.

imagine a mountain hermit swaying,

collapsing into laughter. water-stars, wind.

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(Dedicated to Andy and Janet)

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Image: Confucian Poem, Kameda Bosai. circa 1820-1824. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. WikiCmns. Public Domain.

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  1. September 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Excellent words and then the meanings/sensations sink in. Very lovely

  2. September 11, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    sh: thanks for the appreciation; i usually feel a little like i’m flying blind when doing a translation. nothing iike feedback to confirm my intuitions… eric

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