Tag Archives: Spring

KKS II: 119

A party of ladies on their way home from Shiga came into the precincts of the Kazan temple and stood for a while beneath the wisteria; when they had gone, he composed this and sent it to them.

よそに見てかへらん人にふぢの花はひまつはれよ枝はおるとも

yoso ni mite
kaFeran Fito ni
Fudi no Fana
FaFimatuFare yo
eda Fa oru tomo
A casual glance, and
Then those girls are gone;
O, wisteria blooms,
Twine around and hold them here,
Though your branches break…

Archbishop Henjō

KKS II: 118

A poem from a poetry competition held by Her Majesty, the Empress, during the Kanpyō period.

吹風と谷の水としなかりせば深山がくれの花を見ましや

Fuku kaze to
tani no midu to si
nakariseba
miyama gakure no
Fana wo mimasi ya
The gusting wind and
The valley’s waters
Were there none, then
Hidden in the mountains’ depths
These blossoms – would any wish to see them?

Tsurayuki

KKS II: 114

Composed when it was said that a poetry competition was to be held at the residence of the Middle Captain Lady of the Bedchamber in the Ninna period.[1]

おしと思心は糸によられなん散る花ごとに貫きてとどめむ

oshi to omoFu
kokoro Fa ito ni
yorarenan
tiru Fana goto ni
nukite todomemu
If regrets
Within my heart should into threads
Be spun, then
Through every scattered blossom
Would I sew to hold them here…

Sosei


[1] It was taboo to record the personal names of noble women of high rank unless they were made empress. The Ninna 仁和 period began on the 11th day of the Third Month, 885, and lasted until the 30th day of the Fifth Month, 889. ‘Lady of the Bedchamber’ (miyasudokoro 御息所) was a title given to imperial consorts who had given birth to a prince, while ‘Middle Captain’ (chūjō 中将) was a military position in the palace guards. Contemporary readers would have been able to identify who the ‘Lady who had given birth to an imperial prince and whose father held the position of Middle Captain during the Ninna period’ was, but modern scholarship has not done so; nor have records of this poetry competition survived.