Tag Archives: lap

MYS V: 810

Poems respectfully presented by Ōtomo no Tabito, to accompany a Japanese zither made from wood taken from the top of a parasol tree growing on Yuishi in Tsushima:

I dreamed this zither transformed into a maiden who said to me, ‘I placed my roots in the care of the sacrd heights of a distant island; my trunk was dried by the peaceful light of the ninefold sun. Ever was I enveloped by the smoky haze drifting from the mountain streams, and beheld from afar the winds and the waves, finding myself between a tree and a goose. Yet, after a hundred years, I was afraid I would simply be left to rot away in a moat or a ditch somewhere, but by good fortune I met a talented craftsman, who shaped my wood into this meagre zither. My form may be coarse, and my sound grating, but I hope that I may rest, as my Lord’s zither, at his left hand.’ Then, she composed.


ika ni aramu
pi no toki ni kamo
kowe siramu
pito no piza no pe
wa ga makurakamu
When will
The day come that
I shall sing
With his lap
For my pillow?