Sude ni

Another one from Kinoshita Rigen:

From tree to tree, the hoarsening wind/ the calling birds
with song made sharp/ it is already winter

In modern Japanese sude ni almost invariably means "already," but in the olden days it could also mean "completely" (not to mention "verily" and "nearly", in combination with the right verb forms). I don't think that this usage was intended here, but the slowly widening frame of reference, from tree to wind to birdsong to season, did bring it to mind.

Popularity factor: 4


Yeah, I can see how one might kind of want a hark or too there.

Sude ni is not nearly as annoying in it's ambiguity in translations from classical Japanese as shibaraku.


Wow, great flow in that poem. It moves like the wind.

Leonardo Boiko:

I think the Japanese typographic practice of printing tanka in a single line (column) helps.


The other side of it is that almost the whole thing is a big dependent clause.

木々わたる → 風の音からび鳴く → 鳥の聲するどくしてすでに冬なり
The sharpening of the voice of the birds that cry the dry rustling of the wind which is passing through the trees is already winter.

The 鳴く is interestingly ambiguous between being the cry of the winds and the cry of the birds.

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