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lnhammer ([personal profile] lnhammer) wrote2014-12-16 03:25 pm

Kokinshu #480

(Not that this project isn't still on hiatus, but I realized I had a draft translated and simply hadn't finished reading up on/writing commentary. So posting what I have, at least.)

Topic unknown.

    Such astonishment! --
my longing isn't even
    a messenger,
yet it has taken my heart
and delivered it to her!

—undated (late 2013?)

Original by Ariwara no Motokata, who does a bit of syntactic play that's more skillful than I expect of him, putting his "astonishment" in the middle line. The other bit of wordplay, of whether tsuku should be understood to mean "approach" the heart of his beloved or "entrust" his heart as one does a letter to a messenger, is more standard but no less tricky to render. In the end, I couldn't replicate the first and duplicated the second -- and regardless, neither trick makes this a particularly convincing love poem.


tayori ni mo
aranu omoi no
ayashiki wa
kokoro o hito ni
tsukurunarikeri


---L.