2 thoughts on “KKS XIII: 628”

  1. The second line is giving me a little trouble here. Can you help me to understand the relative functions of あり and なり in the same phrase? 陸奧にありといふなる〜 seems to be “in Michinoku there is [the river] called〜,” but it feels like I am missing an important nuance.

    For the last line, my best guess for 苦しかりけり is something like “it has been particularly painful,” from 苦しき, “painful, difficult,” 〜しかる, “that kind of〜,” and the sense of けり as indicating a continuation from past to present.

    1. This use of なり following a verb is similar in nuance to modern のである, and suggests that the preceding statement is explaining something. It was a long time ago that I did this translation, but I expect at the time that I didn’t feel something like ‘in fact’ was a particularly poetic way to end the second line, and so approximated the sense with ‘I hear’, instead. 苦しかり〜 is a standard alternate continuative form of the adjective 苦し, to which 〜けり is attached. 〜けり conveys the sense that the speaker/writer is reporting information which they have not directly witnessed themselves, and I interpret its use here as putting some distance between the poet and the statement in the poem – ‘it’s not that I’ve lost my good name, but this is what it’s like’. I attempted to capture that slight sense of distance by using ‘one’s’ rather than ‘your’ or ‘my’ good name in the translation.

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