Sunday, 26 May 2013

Kokinshu #396

Sunday, 26 May 2013 08:11
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Written when the Ninna Emperor was a Crown Prince, when he was returning from viewing Furu Waterfall.

    My tears of parting --
for I'm not weary of you --
    join the waterfall.
Downstream, they might even see
that the waters are rising.

—23 May 2013

Original by Kengei. Not much is known about this monk aside from that he's a grandson of Minamoto no Tôru (born 822, see #724), was active before Emperor Kôkô's 884 enthronement, and has 4 poems in the Kokinshu. ¶ Kôkô being the Ninna Emperor again (see #21). For Furu, see #248 (there's no indication this is from the same visit). The final couplet can also be read as a question, and that may even be the more natural way. Another where the language of friendship (or flattery) is indistinguishable from love poetry.

akazu shite
wakaruru namida
taki ni sou
mizu masaru to ya
shimo wa miruramu



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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