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    While I keep hearing
of you through these whispers
    from Mount Wing-Whisper,
down here near Meeting-Hill Gate
I am, ah!, passing the years.

—19 November 2013

Original by Ariwara no Motokata. For Otowa ("wing-sound") and Ôsaka ("meeting-hill"), see #142 and #374, respectively; they are close together in the hills southeast of the capital. More heavy-handed wordplay by Motokata: the oto of Otowa being a pivot-doublet for its meaning of "sound/rumor" -- I loosely translate Otowa's name to replicate the effect. "Of you" is, as often, interpretive, with the pronoun chosen as much for gender-neutrality as anything.


otowayama
oto ni kikitsutsu
ôsaka no
seki no konata ni
toshi o furu ka na


---L.
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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.

December 2014

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