Thursday, 2 May 2013

Kokinshu #384

Thursday, 2 May 2013 07:09
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Written when parting with someone near Mt. Otowa.

    Crying so loudly
up high in a treetop
    on Mt. Otowa --
it must be that this cuckoo
cannot bear parting from you.

—29 April 2013

Original by Ki no Tsurayuki. A return of summer's cuckoo, and of the naku = sing/cry wordplay. For Otowa, see #142. Wordplays: Otowa's name includes oto = the "sound" of the bird, and -dakaku is both "loudly" crying and "high up" in the tree. That the bird "also" regrets the parting is to be understood. The sentiment may seem a little thin, but the sound is lovely and elegant.


otowayama
kodakaku nakite
hototogisu
kimi ga wakare o
oshimuberanari


---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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