Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Home is what you think of

when you’re far away

And what you sadly sing of

Murō Saisei

The beginning of the ten-line verse ”Shōkei ijō2,” part of the group of poems which open Jojō Shōkyoku Shū(Short Lyrics, 1918). These are famous lines, but sometimes misunderstood, for the poem is not about longing for home when far away. Saisei had come to Tokyo to fulfill his ambitions, but unable to make his way, was going back and forth to his hometown of Kanazawa. The poem dates from this difficult period of his life, and he was actually at home when he wrote it. For a young man with absolutely no one rely on for help, attachment to home is hard to forget, but by the same token, cold treatment there hurts all the more. The poem expresses his complex feeling of love and hate with emotionality and defiance.

ふるさとはFurusato wa遠きにありて思ふものtōki ni arite omou monoそして悲しくsoshite kanashikuうたふものutau mono

室生犀星(Murō Saisei)