Saturday, 1 June 2013

Kokinshu #399

Saturday, 1 June 2013 06:31
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Written when parting with Prince Kanemi after first conversing with him.

    Even though we part,
I am filled with happiness.
    Who in the world might
I have loved before we met
each other this evening?

—29-30 May 2013

Original by Ôshikôchi no Mitsune. Again, the language sounds a lot like a love poem. Though of course it's also easy to read it as courtier flattery of the sort common around the world. The rhetorical question is strengthened by a counterfactual conjugation. Changes made for idiomatic-sounding English: "who in the world" is a bit stronger than the original's "who," even with the counterfactual, and technically it's "saw" rather than "met."


wakaruredo
ureshiku mo aru ka
koyoi yori
aiminu saki ni
nani o koimashi

---L.

About

Warning: contents contain line-breaks.

As language practice, I was translating classical Japanese poetry -- most recently, book 11 (love part 1) of the Kokinshu anthology. This project is, however, on hiatus. Past translations are archived here. Suggestions, corrections, and questions always welcome.

There's also original pomes in the journal archives.

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