otowayama aki to shi nareba karanishiki kaketaru koto mo miyuru momiji ka On Otowa Mountain When autumn comes Cathay brocade Is hung about – Seem so the scarlet leaves?
ominaeshi nani no kokoro ni nakeredomo aki wa sakubeki koto mo yuyushiku O, maidenflowers, Something within my heart Is lacking, yet That you must bloom in autumn Is a fine thing, indeed!
Monkeys 猿 あさまだきならのかれ葉をそよそよと外山をいでてましら鳴くなり
asa madaki nara no kareba o soyosoyo to toyama o idete mashira nakunari ‘Tis not yet morn, but The withered oak leaves Rustle, as To the distant mountains go The monkeys hooting.
Old Folk 老人
asana asana miredo mukashi no kage narade hi ni soe oi no masukagami kana Each morn I look, yet yesterday’s Face fails to appear, and With each passing day, old age Is clear within my mirror!
Dwarf Bamboo 小篠
asa madaki ozasa ga hara o wakeyukeba tsuyukeki sode o hito ya togamen Just before the break of dawn Through a grove of dwarf bamboo Do I forge my way, so Will my dew-drenched sleeves By folk be condemned?
Dwarf Bamboo 小篠
asa yū ni tsuyu no shiratama miru mono o itaku na kari so oka no sasawara Morning and evening both Upon white gemlet dewdrops Do I gaze – O, reap not The dwarf bamboo groves on the hillside!
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 simo okinikeri asa tode ni itakusi pumite pito ni sirayuna With the evening chill Frost has fallen; In the morning, opening the door Tread lightly, so No one will know…