Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

When I look up and see
moonlight filter through the trees,
I know that autumn,
heart-exhausting autumn,
is already here


From Kokinshū, Autumn 1. Kokorozukushi: to use up one’s heart, exhaust one’s feelings. With autumn, the look of the fields and mountains changes. Here and there beautiful colors begin to dot the natural world. But this is a golden light that lasts but an instant and then is gone. Every time I think of it, says the poet, my heart is uneasy. That is kokorozukushi, “heart- exhausting autumn.” Though stressing subjective emotion, the evocative phrase in fact captured the feel of autumn with deep objectivity and so won popularity. It was used in the The Tale of Genji and many other works later on.


(Ko)(no)(ma)より(yori) もりくる(morikuru)(tsuki)(no) (kage)見れば(mireba) 心づくし(kokorozukushi)(no) (aki)(wa)来にけり(kinikeri)