Love Waiting for Someone 待人恋
tanomeshi wa sashimo araji ni ajikinaku hito matsu kaze no mi ni mo shimu kana When trustworthiness Seems to be in such short supply, Bored I await him with the wind Cutting me more deeply!
Love Waiting for Someone 待人恋
kaze sae mo odorokasu kana tanomezu wa matate naka naka nenamashi mono o Even the wind Starts me from sleep! You made me no promises, So, while waiting, desultorily Will I make my bed…
A poem from a poetry competition held by Her Majesty, the Empress, during the Kanpyō period.
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?
uguFisu no naku nobe goto ni kitemireba uturoFu Fana ni kaze zo fukikeru The warblers Sing from every field, and When I arrive I see, Faded flowers blown By the gusting wind.
Fuku kaze ni aturaFetukuru mono naraba kono Fitomoto Fa yokiyo to iFamasi Should the gusting wind Take orders, Then, ‘This single spray Avoid!’ – that’s what I would say!
Composed on returning from an ascent of Mount Hiei.
yama takami mitutu wa ga kosi sakurabana kaze Fa kokoro ni makasuberanari On the mountain’s heights, Did I ever see, when homeward bound, Cherry blossoms, where Now the wind will Do as it wants!
Composed on the scattering of cherry blossoms.
yuki to nomi Furu dani aru wo sakurabana ika ni tire to ka kaze no Fukuran Simply as snow Do fall the Cherry blossoms: So why to scatter them Does the wind seem to blow?
Ōshikōchi no Mitsune
Composed on the scattering of cherry blossoms, while in the guard post for the Crown Prince’s Palace.
Farukaze Fa Fana no atari wo yokite Fuke kokorodukara ya uturoFu to mimu O, winds of Spring, While the blossoms bloom Refrain from blowing! Does their own heartbreak Fade them I would wonder.
Fujiwara no Yoshikaze
On the moonlight flooding over a ruined place
kaku bakari kaze Fa Fukedomo ita no ma mo aFanu Fa tuki no kage saFe zo miru So strongly Blows the wind, yet From between the boards, where They fail to meet, it is the moon’s Light that I do see!
hito wa kozue ni
koto no ne ni nomi
kayou matsukaze Accustomed to his being here,
Now, he comes not and from the treetops
All that endures
Are my zither’s strains,
Blending with the pines.
tsurenaki hito no
koto no ne ni
matsu no kaze o ba I will listen no more!
To that cruel man’s
With the wind from off the pines…
The Right state: it sounds as if the man is enduring on the treetops. The Left state: ‘I will listen no more!’ (
kikaji tada) is extremely coarse.
In judgement: while it may sound as if the man is enduring on the treetops in the Left’s poem, this is no more than a standard use of metaphorical expression, and the configuration of ‘accustomed to his being here, now, he comes not and from the treetops’ (
suminareshi hito wa kozue ni) sounds fine, with the latter part of the poem also being elegant. The initial line of the Right’s poem has a conception of closing up the ears to block one’s auditory sense, which seems excessive. Clearly, the Left’s ‘my zither’s strains’ ( koto no ne ni nomi) must win.