All entries for Saturday 10 March 2007

March 10, 2007

Spring Tanka

More short stuff, an english ‘tanka’ this time.

Tanka O Kiru
(啖呵を切る)

Snowflakes are alright
to look at. Just so long as
you’re only looking.
But then count yourself lucky
if you find any in March.

The title is a transliterated pun; literally ‘clearing the tanka’, originally the phrase described the act of pushing the guard of a sword up in its scabbard so that the blade might then be drawn in a single, swift motion – obviously an extremely confrontational gesture akin to cocking a gun. According to Wikipedia, in which I trust absolutely, “This expression has become widely used in Japan in the sense of ‘getting ready to begin something’ or ‘getting ready to speak’, usually with an aggressive connotation”.


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