Brilliance at noon

Komatsuji temple in southern Chiba - a province to the East of Tokyo including Narita.
Komatsuji temple in southern Chiba. Chiba is the province to the East of Tokyo which includes Narita. The southern part of Chiba remains relatively rural.

真昼日の
ひかりのなかに
もえさかる
炎か哀し
わが若さ燃ゆ

まひるびの
ひかりのなかに
もえさかる
ほのおかかなし
わがわかさのゆ

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.

Commentary

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.

Background

“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.

Vocabulary

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

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