Love Separated by Distant Roads 隔遠路恋
harubaru to omoiyaredomo asa yū ni yukanu kokoro no kurushiki ya nazo On the distance far Do dwell my pondering thoughts, so Why, morning and evening, too, Does my heart, held here, Feel such pain?
asa yū ni miyama ni kayou shizu dani mo nageki wa koranu mono to koso kike Morning and evening, Travelling to the mountain deeps and back, Even the woodsmen Will not fell the tree of grief, Or so I hear…
Lord Kanemune 1181
shizu no o yo omoi wa ware mo korinubeshi ono ga kurushiki tsumaki naranedo O, woodsman! I, too, in fires of passion Must burn on; My longing for my love, your axe To kindling will not hew, and yet…
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem sounds like it is chopping kindling that the woodsman will do no more.
In judgement: ‘Travelling to the mountain deeps and back, the woodsmen’ (
miyama ni kayou shizu) should ‘fell the tree of grief’ ( nageki o koru), but in the poem they ‘do not fell’ ( koranu) it – I wonder how appropriate this is. This conception seems to be one not relating to grief, but simply to tree-felling. ‘I, too, in fires of passion must burn on’ ( omoi wa ware mo korinubeshi) seems somewhat difficult to interpret, but I must say that the configuration of the final section is superb.
Composed when there was much disturbance in the world.
sika no sikaramu
Fagi ga e no
suweba no tuyu no
arigata no yo ya Every morning
The stag is tangled in
Bush clover branches,
Dew upon the leaf-tips –
Such is the length of life…
[One of] three poems composed at a banquet on the 3
rd day of the Third Month, with an imperial envoy sent to inspect the border guards and messengers from the Ministry of War in attendance.
agaru pibari ni
miyako ni yukite
paya kaperikon Every single morning
Soars the skylark –
If only I were she, then
To the capital I’d go, and
Swiftly return home!
Abe no Samimaro
yupu kori no
asa tode ni
pito ni sirayuna With the evening chill
Frost has fallen;
In the morning, opening the door
Tread lightly, so
No one will know…
asa tode no
kimi ga ayupi wo
nurasu tuyu para
idetutu ware mo
mosuso nurasana In the morning, opening the door
Bound up, your belt
Will be drenched by the dewy fields;
I, too, shall venture out and
Soak my skirt-hem…
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro Collection
asa tode no
kimi ga sugata wo
nagaki parupi wo
kopi ya kurasamu In the morning, opening the door
My lord’s form
I could not see well, so
How through this long spring day
Can I live with my love?
fuyu samumi shimo sayu yo wa akenuredo asabusuma koso nugarezarikere How cold the winter, and Chill the frost this night; It lightens, yet My hempen bedding I have not stripped off…
Minamoto no Akinaka
The Ninth Day of the Ninth Month
ikue tomo asa shiragiku o e koso mine wata okinagara taoru ashita wa However many petals has The white chrysanth’ this morn, I cannot see it, For covered in cotton Will I take it in hand today…
Fujiwara no Tadafusa