☆A poem from Hitomaro Collection:
As I trod through paths
Of a mountain, I lost track,
Left alone in snow –
Barely visible are white oaks,
With their branches bending low.
Would anybody sing a song while trapped in snow in the mountain? Would any one muse and create a poem, while living up high in the mountain, as it snows so heavily that even the sturdy oak branches bend down? Would he be recalling his experience, or describing an uncertain state of mind? The poem remains a mystery. Even Prof. Mr. Susumu Nakanishi does not give a clear-cut answer to it. But it can remain a small mystery this way, I think.
One comment I wish to make here is that, Line-4 in the original Japanese poem says, “Eda-mo towowo-ni”, and it can be literally translated as “…Branches bending low”. “Towowo” may be descriptive of “bending low”, and it is interesting to note that in modern Japanese language, “Tawawa” is used, as in “Rice plants richly(tawawa-ni) bearing rice grains ” Wonder how the phrase transformed…