Spring roses

Spring roses

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

My birthday morning began with this short tanka performed in several different ways on NHK . I thought it well suited the occasion.

くれなゐの/ Kurenai no / Gaudy, bright
二尺のびたる/ Nishyaku nobitaru / 60 cm. spread, width (about 2 ft.)
ばらの芽の / Bara no me no / Rosebud
針や はらかに / Hari ya waraka ni / young shoot (or sprout)
春雨の 降る / Haru same no furu. / Spring drizzle

I have a rough idea what this verse is about and I’ve learned some new vocabulary along the way. First, it’s a tanka (similar to a haiku) but it has 5-7-5-7-7 syllable lines. The author is unknown, as far as I know. All I could glean from working with the kanji and the sparse form of the poem is that it’s simply an encounter with a red rose, or the bud in a spring drizzle. It could be thoughts anticipating the bloom itself. I’m not entirely sure, but we had rain last night with more on the way tonight. My roses are in bloom and the brief encounter with this poem this morning was a great way to begin the day.

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