GSS XI: 779

When she felt that a man’s feelings were becoming more and more chilly:

心からうきたる舟に乘りそめて一日も涙に濡れぬ日ぞなき

kokoro kara
ukitaru Fune ni
norisomete
FitoFi mo nami ni
nurenu Fi zo naki
Upon my breast
Floats a boat of heartbreak
And I have just embarked;
There’s not a single day when waves
Do not soak my sleeves.

Komachi
小町

3 thoughts on “GSS XI: 779”

  1. Re:
    When she felt that a man’s feelings were becoming more and more chilly:

    Is the above commentary inferred, common knowledge amongst informed waka readership/scholarship or just recent webmaster opinion? How did this come about? I’m not sure how it contextualizes the poetry. Was this carried over from historical texts?

    1. This is not commentary – it is a translation of the headnote supplied with the poem in the original anthology. Headnotes are provided to give the reader information about context of an individual poem’s composition. Sometimes this is simply an identification of the poem’s formal topic (‘cherry blossom’, for example); sometimes the purpose for which a poem was composed (‘A poem from such-and-such a poetry competition’, for example); and sometimes it provides the social context, the situation or emotions the poet was feeling that made him or her produce the work. This headnote fits into this final category.

      Given that Komachi lived some time before this anthology was compiled, however, it remains open to question as to whether this headnote is something that was handed down with the poem, and so, therefore, has an actual link with its origins, or whether the compilers decided to include this poem in the anthology and, given that Komachi had by their time a reputation as a passionate woman who was unhappy in love, decided to add some colour to the poem by writing the headnote themselves.

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