On a day when the Priestly Retired Emperor [Uda (867-931; r. 887-897)] was at the Western River, Tsurayuki composed this poem on the topic of ‘cranes standing on a sandbank’ by imperial command.
tateru kaFabe wo
Fuku kaze ni
nami ka to zo miru
|Cranes among the reeds
Standing by the water’s edge:
The gusting wind has
Brought near, and not retrieved
These whitecaps, or so it seems.