Are these flames that blaze
in the brilliance at noon?
Does the sorrow of my youth
Burn so passionately.
Wakayama Bokusui, “The Voice of the Sea”, first published July 1908.
Is it flames that are blazing in the strong sunlight at noon? Is this a haze from the heat? Or are these flames from my sorrow. This is my youth itself that is burning.
“The Voice of the Sea” was self published by Bokusui after deferring graduation from the English Department of Waseda University. However at that time the work did not receive any strong critical response. This poem talks of the sorrow at youth while works in the Voice of the Sea talk about both the sorrows of youth and of love.
燃え盛っている・もえさかっている・to blaze, burn up
卒業を控える・そつぎょうをひかえる・to defer/refraim from graduation
陽炎・かげろう・heat haze – note the very irregular reading