Friday 16 May 2008

CHORUS: Indeed, "Are we to call them clouded?

These waters which were for so many years
A mirror for the flowers
That now lay scattered there?"
And even we who know so well
That flowers fall and turn to dust
We too are nothing but dreams, fleeting
Like the flowers that we would pity so,
Like the flowers in that old poem, that
"Fall aimlessly from the branch
And turn to pitiful foam
On the water's surface"
We, ignorant of our own fate
Relish the sight of white waves of flowers,
Envious of the myriad birds at play among the blossoms
As if their fate weren't also fleeting.
Moved by the mists
And saddened by the dew
Such are our hearts.

all excerpts from Sakuragawa (The Cherry Blossoms River), a Noh play by Zeami
translation by Keith Vincent


  1. wonderful how flowers and water melt into each other, white waves of flowers...i do understand that quoyte now better that you once have mentioned, how dangerous it is to go into a wood of flowering cherry trees because of the overpowering beauty. i do love the geese on the photo. myriads of birds. i so often wished to be a geeseherder... geese have such a gift for reality and pragmatism.

  2. I was quite amazed when I discovered the picture, I had forgotten about it and was looking for something to fit the beautiful noh-lines, and then there it was, exactly the same scene, waves of flowers and birds...

  3. the cherry blossom river - must look that up, what a gorgeous picture.

  4. thank you sorlil, I'll post the last part of the cherry blossoms tonight, I've been very busy these days... I don't know if I had showed so many if you hadn't encouraged me though :-)

  5. if I had 'shown' actually :-)