Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Deep in the mountains

too deep to know of spring

sparkling beads

of melted snow fall slowly, drop

by drop, on my pine bough door

Shikishi Naishinnō

Shinkokinshū Book I, Spring Poems 1. A cottage in the mountains at the beginning of spring. So deep in the mountains that one cannot imagine spring has come ––and yet, drops of snow melted by the sun are falling slowly on the rough door made of pine boughs and boards. Shinkokinshū poets had a fondness for pictorial beauty and one sees it here in the juxtaposition of the pines’ green and the sparkling drops of melted snow. With the loneliness of the mountain cottage enfolded in the luster and brightness of “sparkling beads,” another layer is added to the taste of spring.


式子内親王(しきし ないしんのう)