I'm still reading "小林{こばやし}一茶{いっさ}" (a book written by 宗左近/Sō Sakon about the famous poet).

I'm facing several difficulties with the following extract :

愛{あい}の歌{うた} 怒{いか}りの歌{うた}

作品{さくひん}の特色{とくしょく}は、極{きわ}めてはっきりしている。冒頭{ぼうとう}にあげた六{ろっ}句{く}に難{むずか}しさはない。弱{よわ}い 生命{せいめい}への愛{あい}の歌{うた}です。その愛{あい}をもたない存在{もの}への怒{いか}りの歌{うた}です。 曖昧{あいまい}さはない。 明快{めいかい}です。誰{だれ}にでも伝{つた}わる。

My translation (disclaimer : I'm not fluent at all in English, please feel free to correct me).

a poetry about love, a poetry about anger

The characteristic of his production is to be utterly exact. At the beginning of the 6 elevated parts(?) , there is nothing difficult. It's a poetry about love that refers to a delicate life. It's a poetry about anger that refers to an existence deprived(?) of this love. No ambiguity. Clarity. Anyone gets the message.

There are several parts I don't understand :

(1) What are the あげた六{ろっ}句{く}? Is it something related to Issa's works ?

(2) What's the grammar behind もたない in その愛{あい}をもたない存在{もの}?

(3) 存在 should be read そんざい (according to WWWJDIC). But my edition adds the "もの" furiganas. What's the difference between these two readings ?


2 Answers 2

  1. I think the meaning of あげる here is "bring up", as in "bring up a topic". So he is probably talking about some things he brought up earlier.

  2. その愛をもたない存在ー>その愛を持たない存在。「愛を持たない」 modifies 「存在」. This is called a subordinate verb clause.

  3. Sometimes writers like to play around with furigana to create special meanings of their own. They want you to read that word a certain way so that you will associate that reading with the kanji. I guess the writer just wanted you to associate もの with 存在. You could probably spend hours discussing the possible meanings and nuances behind this, which is probably what he was going for :-)

There was a question about this type of furigana before.

  • 5
    The kanji for this type of あげる is 挙げる.
    – naruto
    Apr 8, 2016 at 1:26
  • @strawberry jam : thank you very much ! 1) Sō Sakon is speaking about 6 haikus he gave precedently 2) I didn't recognize 持た 3) thank you for this helpful link.
    – suizokukan
    Apr 8, 2016 at 6:39
  • @naruto : thank you for the kanji : I was wondering how to write it.
    – suizokukan
    Apr 8, 2016 at 7:00
  • I want to see that 6 haiku. ex.)初夢に古郷を見て涙かな(hatsu yume ni furusato wo mite namida kana) I think that the haiku book is the very example sentences that should be written ateji.
    – nariuji
    Apr 23, 2016 at 17:17

Regarding your questions (1),(2),(3),

(1) “挙げた六句” means six haikus of 一茶 the writer quoted in the beginning of his article.

(2)”弱い生命への愛の歌です。その愛をもたない存在(もの)への怒りの歌です” can be translated as;

It’s the poem of love to be dedicated to the feeble and transient life. It is a poem expressing the anger directed to the soul who doesn’t have love and sympathy for the feeble life.

“もたない” of ”その愛をもたない” modifies “存在” as a qualifier.

(3) “存在” is usually translated as “existence” or “being” in English, and we don’t pronounce 存在 as “もの,” which is the one-off usage coined by the writer. I interpret “存在(もの)” here means (heartless and insensitive) people.

  • Very interesting. May I ask you why you choosed to translate “存在(もの)” by "people/soul" ? Is this a common meaning for もの ?
    – suizokukan
    Apr 10, 2016 at 15:06

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