The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and National Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura Tanka
By Yosano Akiko
Translated by Sam Hamill and Keiko Matsui Gibson

Kiyomizu Temple's
picturesque across Gion:
cherry blossoms in
moonlight, these passing faces,
every one so beautiful!

Where gentle spring winds
scatter pale cherry blossoms
near the pagoda,
on the wings of mourning doves
I shall write my poems.


We got up early on Easter Sunday to go downtown to see the cherry blossoms before everyone in the area who'd gone to church decided to head to the Tidal Basin too. It was overcast and cool, which may not be the most scenic way to see the blossoms but made it a pleasure to walk around from the Washington Monument past the Jefferson Memorial with a quick stop at the George Mason Memorial (being a Virginian, he gets more magnolias than cherry blossoms) and a visit to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial as we circled back toward the National Mall. We ate lunch at a picnic table while the early afternoon crowds began to swell.


As you can see, the tulips in the Flower Library were mostly in bloom, and there were daffodils, hyacinths, more tulips, and even some remaining snowdrops in flower beds in front of the Smithsonian museums and beside the George Washington Parkway, which also has redbuds in flower along the road. We were pretty tired when we got home in the late afternoon, after a stop at the food store, so we watched basketball (I suppose I'm rooting for Syracuse, though I don't care whether the eventual winner is Villanova as long as it's not UNC or Oklahoma) and this week's Madam Secretary (I'd vote for Elizabeth over all current candidates) and Elementary (ditto Joan).

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