MYS X: 1908

On frost.


paru sareba
mikusa nö upë ni
oku simo nö
ketutu ni mo are pa
kopiwataru ka mo
With spring’s coming
Atop the grasses
The frost fall
Vanishes, yet I
Continue with my yearning.

2 thoughts on “MYS X: 1908”

    1. I’ve re-checked the readings given to the characters of this poem, and note that it should be ketutu ni mo are pa – I have corrected the transcription above. There are two reasons for the extra mora in this poem: first, and most simply, the tanka form was still evolving in the Nara period, so the poets of the time were less bothered about violating compositional rules. This is one of the reasons why poets of later times regarded the poems of Man’yōshū as uncouth. Second, given that this line presents two vowels adjacent to each other, they could be elided together when the poem was recited, meaning that the extra mora was not particularly noticeable. This is somethign which you see occasionally in the poetry of later ages, too.

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