Category Archives: Ise Shū

Ise Shū 41

A man comes and meets a lady at the Purification ceremonies in the Sixth Month:

年中に我なげきどのなりぬれば禊ぐとも世にうせじとぞ思

tosi naka ni
ware nagekido no
narinureba
misogu tomo yo ni
usezi to zo omoFu
In the middle of the year
I many points of grief
Do have;
I may cleanse them, yet from the world
They will not fade, I fear.

Ise Shū 40

Her reply:

なにかとも君をば知らじ郭公きながら鳴くは性にやあらぬ

nani ka tomo
kimi wo ba sirazi
Fototogisu
kinagara naku Fa
saka ni ya aranu
Of anything to do with
You, nothing knows
The cuckoo;
Is not to come and call
Simply in his nature?

Ise Shū 39

The man comes and stands before the lady’s gate and, hearing a cuckoo call from amongst the orange blossom, composes this and sends it in:

外に立てるわれやかなしきほとゝぎす花橘の枝に居てなく

to ni tateru
ware ya kanasiki
Fototogisu
Fana tatibana no
eda ni wite naku
Standing without
In sadness, am I; does
The cuckoo
On the orange blossomed
Branch sit and sing for me?

Ise Shū 38

A man comes to a place where the wisteria blooms and catching sight of a lady, sends this in to her:

藤の花けふ見つるより紫も村濃と色ぞ深くなりぬる

Fudi no Fana
keFu mituru yori
murasaki mo
murago to iro zo
Fukakunarinuru
Of wisteria blooms
I caught sight, today, and ever since
As violet
Of the deepest hue, my passion,
Grows ever more profound!

Ise Shū 36

Under a profusion of cherry blossom, the same man said:

わがやどにいざ誘はれよさくらばな何山里に隱れてか咲く

wa ga yado ni
iza sasoFareyo
sakurabana
nani yamazato ni
kakurete ka saku
To my dwelling
Do I invite you
O, cherry blossom!
Why bother in this mountain garden
Blooming secretly?

Ise Shū 35

Her reply:

ひとたびにこりにし梅の花なれば散りぬときけどまたも見なくに

Fito tabi ni
korinisi mume no
Fana nareba
tirinu to kikedo
mata mo minakuni
Once
Cut down, wiser, is the plum
Blossom, so
You may hear all the petals are fallen, yet
Never will you see it more!

Ise Shū 34

When Her Majesty, the Empress, was known as the Consort who was Mother to the Crown Prince, she selected topics and ordered Ise to compose poems for a folding screen as follows:

There was a picture of a man visiting a woman and conversing with her. The man, using the pretext of plum blossom to begin a conversation with the lady, says:

見し人にまたもやあふと梅の花咲きしあたりに行かぬ日ぞなき

misi Fito ni
mata mo ya aFu to
mume no Fana
sakisi atari ni
yukanu Fi zo naki
The maid I glimpsed,
I wonder, may I meet her more?
Plum blossom
Bloomed around about
Where the sun does ever shine.

Ise Shū 33

There was a man with whom she had secretly become close, but when word began to leak out, she put some beads into a box for a man’s cap and strung them together, saying:

たきつ瀬と名の流るれば玉の緒のあひ見しほどをくらべつるかな

takituse to
na no nagarureba
tama no wo no
aFimisi Fodo wo
kurabeturu kana
As a cataract’s roar
Do our names flow out;
Though to this thread of beads
Could our meeting
Be compared…