Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Kokinshu #390

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 06:56
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Written while seeing off Fujiwara no Koreoka, who was crossing Ôsaka [Gate] on his way to becoming vice-governor of Musashi.

    He crosses over,
parting from us as he goes!
    Meeting Hill Gate,
I find that all your name does
is make me rely on you.

—10 May 2013

Original by Ki no Tsurayuki. For Ôsaka/Meeting Hill, see #374. Musashi Province corresponds to modern Tokyo City plus a portion of Saitama Prefecture, and Koreoka's appointment was in 898. Same last line as #382, rendered slightly differently because context. The implication is, of course, that he relies on it in vain. Even more than some of the earlier personal partings, the language and tone is all but indistinguishable from that of a love poem. Or to put it another way, the languages of friendship and of love are all but indistinguishable in poetry.

katsu koete
wakare mo yuku ka
ôsaka wa
hitodanome naru
na ni koso arikere



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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