Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

A single butterfly crossed the Tatar Strait.

Anzai Fuyue

A famous one-line poem celled “Spring”, from the collection Gunkan Mari, 1929. The author ,one of the pioneer of modern poetry, had tremendous influence on poetry of the 1930s on through his central role in the poetic prose movement of the late Taish ō period. Dattan Kaikyo is the old Japanese name for the Tatar Straits, now called Mamiya Kaikyō. “ChōChō”, “butterfly”, is written inthr old way, as “てふてふ”, which Hagiwara Sakutarō also preferred. This is because the unvocalized sound te-hu te-hu brings the way the butterfly flies clearly before the eyes. A just-born butterfly crosses the Tarar Strait from Sakhalin, headed towards the mainload of Asia. In it, the poet saw spring itself, and so he named the poem. The harsh sound and the look of the characters for Dattan(the radical for “leather” suggested saddles, horses and their fearsome riders, the Tatars) are quite effective.

てふてふがChōChō ga一匹ippiki韃靼海峡をDattan Kaikyōwo渡つて行つたwatatte itta

安西冬衛(あんざいふゆえ)

詩集『軍艦茉莉』(昭四)の「春」と題する有名な一行詩。作者は現代史のすぐれた先駆者で、大正末期の新散文詩運動により、現代詩に大きな影響を与えた。韃靼海峡は間宮海峡(タタール海峡)の古称。「てふてふ」は長調の古いかなづかいで、萩原朔太郎も好んで用いた。蝶の飛びかたが目に見えるようだからである。生まれてまもない蝶がただ一匹で海峡を大陸目指して渡って行った。そこに「春」そのものを見たのだ。韃靼の音と字が効果的である。