The sorrow in your heart
is betrayed by a few grey hairs.
Life is like empty mountain ranges
Where snow awaits your visits;
Yet you make your solitary retreat
by the path in the wilderness.

Li Yü


The cherry blossoms
on the mountains aglow
in the morning sun
might be mistaken for snow
that does not deign to melt.

Fujiwara Ariie


Which way to turn?
Winds in the autumn leaves,
snow in the pines.

Nijō Yoshimoto

sweeping snow

While sweeping the garden
It forgets about the snow:
The broom.

Matsuo Bashō

beauty of snow

Men of the city!
I’ll sell you my bamboo-hat,
A snow umbrella.

Matsuo Bashō

beauty of snow

Let’s go to
the market shoppers, and sell
the snow on my rainhat.

Matsuo Bashō


The cold is bitter –
Awaking in the night, I hear
Cries of waterfowl:
Are they unable to shake off the frost
That has settled thickly on their wings ?

Shuishu, IV

petaled snow

Seeing this fall of snow
That covers the garden by my house
At winter’s end,
I shall think it cherry petals
Scattered before the year has crossed to spring.

Kiyohara no Motosuke

through virgin snow I roam

Through virgin snow I roam,
Fresh lilies fill my heart.
The dusk, to guide me home,
Has lit a candle-star.

Light? Dark? I cannot say.
Was that the breeze? A cock?
Has winter come? Or maybe
Swans in the meadows flock?

How smooth the snow, how white!
Frost tingling warmth imparts.
I’d love to clasp the bright
Bare birch-breasts to my heart!

Dark thickets! But all round
Clear snow fields cheer the eyes.
I’d love to fold arms round
The willow’s timber thighs.



The snow of yesterday
that fell like cherry petals
is water once again.