Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

From valleys deep

with evergreens

the mountain springs arise

Let my life be as fresh forever

and as new as these

Imai Kuniko

From Mudasaki-gusa(Purple Grasses, 1931). Maki “evergreens,” means evergreen trees prized as timber , such as cypress and cedar. Yamamizu no, “mountain springs,” is short for yamamiu no yō ni, “like the mountain springs.” The poem is a prayer: Like the water that wells up from the deep valleys in the evergreen mountains, let there well up here (within my body) a life always filled with new breath. Many poems praise nature by concerns, a theme witch can easily become banal; but something about this poem’s ripely swelling cadence it apart.

真木ふかきmaki fukaki谷よりいづる山水のtani yori izuru yamamizu no常あたらしき生命あらしめtsune atarashiki inochi arashime

今井邦子(いまい くにこ)

『紫草』(昭六)所収。「真木」はすぐれた木の意で、檜・杉・槙などの良材をいった。「山水の」は、山水のように。緑なす山、その奥深い谷から湧き出る水のように、常に新しい息吹に満ちた生命をここに(私の身のうちに)湧き立たせて下さい、という祈りをこめた歌。大自然の純粋な生命と人間の卑小さを対比して前者を讃える歌はよくあり、陳腐にもなり易いが、この歌は調べが張っている。