157. Untitled (September 5, 1916)


無題(大正五年九月五日)

絶好文章天地大

四時寒暑不曾違

夭夭正晝桃將發

歷歷晴空鶴始飛

日月高懸何磊落

陰陽默照是靈威

勿令碧眼知消息

欲弄言辭墮俗機

Untitled (September 5, 1916)

Sublime patterns of nature, heaven and earth are great,

The four seasons’ heat and cold have never differed.

Vibrant at high noon, the peach blossoms are ready to open;

Etched in the sunny sky, the cranes take flight.

How free and easy the sun and moon hanging high in the heavens,

Yin and Yang’s silent glow is a numinous force.

Do not let the blue-eyed know of these tidings;[1]

They will fool with rhetoric and lapse into vulgar whims.


[1] As noted by Yoshikawa Kōjirō and Ikkai Tomoyoshi, the “blue-eyed” may refer to Daruma, or Bodhidarma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism—however, how that reference would explain Line 8 is unclear.  Iida Rigyō identifies it as a reference to Westerners. I have chosen the latter because it is likely that Sōseki viewed Westerners as people who succumbed easily to worldly urges and vulgar whims.


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