Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

I hear the wind

in the mountain trees

and the voices of the leaves

bloun through air

then let go, falling

 

Shōtetsu

Sōkonshū(Grass Roots). Shōtetsu, a Buddhist priest and leading tanka poet of the early Muromachi period, was born in the province of Bitchū, the son of the lord of Kōdoyama. When he was about 10, he and his parents moved to Kyoto. By his teen, he was participating in tanka workshops held by recognized poets in Kyoto. Though he later took monastic vows, he was a very active poet and critic, and took many renda poets, including Shinkei, under his wing. He is an excellent example of the many poet-priests of the Muromachi period. A prolific poet, he is said to have written 40,000 tanka. As this poem shows, his style, with its close attention to such subtle events as the far-off sound of the wind, was capable of creating deep overtones.

 


風きけば

Kaze kikeba



嶺の木の葉の

mine no konoha no



中空に

nakazora ni



吹き捨てられて

fuki suterarete



落つる声々

otsuru koegoe

正徹(Shōtetsu)

『草根集』所収。僧にして室町初期を代表する歌人なる正徹は、元来備中国神戸山城主の子だった。十歳ごろ父母と共に上京し、十代半ばから京都歌壇の歌会にも出席していたという。のち出家したが、歌に歌論に大活躍し、心敬ら連歌作者多数を門下に擁した。文人僧輩出の室町という時代を身をもって示した人である。歌数四万という多産さだが、歌風はこの歌にも見られるように、遥かなものに耳を澄まして、細やかに歌いわけ、しかも余情深いものがある。