Shodo – Test up Kana

As I learn more shodo I find I understand not only the art of the lettering, but also the poetry. Truth be told, I don’t really concentrate on the meaning of the words as I’m writing; I focus on the lines and the composition. But lately, the poems themselves are hitting me in the heart strings. Below are two poems, waka, from the Wakanroueishu, a collection of a poetic text from the middle Heian Period (around the year 1020). It collects Chinese poems, hanbun, and waka. A friend of mine has posted a book review on a book describing the Heian period, if you are interested.

The below are two poems, both waka. The first reads
いろをもかをもしるひとぞしる – 友則

Or, in a slightly more reader friendly version
色をも香をも知る人ぞ知る – 友則

Pronunciation goes:
kiminarade tarenikamisemu mumenohana
irowomokawomo shiruhitozoshiru

My non-scholarly translation:
If I can show this plum blossom to anyone then it’s you,
Only you can truly appreciate the color and fragrance

The second is
ねならぬよによそへてぞみる – 華山院御製

Or, in a slightly more reader friendly version
ねならぬ世によそへてぞ見る – 華山院御製

Pronunciation goes:
irokawobaomo himoire zumumenohanatsu
nenaranuyoniyo sohetezomiru

My translation:
Contemplating the loveliness of plum blossoms
Like looking in the ephemeral world


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