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Thursday, October 07, 1999

100 poems

100 poems

risa bear










100 poems

risa bear

copyright Ó 1999, 2010 risa bear and stony run press. these poems first appeared at http://risashome.blogspot.com


ISBN 0-9645574-3-6



















by the same author:

collected poems

homecomings

Iron Buddha

Starvation Ridge

Viewing Jasper Mountain














































   Hyakunin isshu (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each) is an anthology of one hundred tanka (31-syllable poems) compiled by Fujiwara no Teika in the year 1235 C.E. It is one of the best-known works in Japan, and has been translated into English many times. The present collection consists of original poem/commentaries written over the course of several days to explore my feelings in response to the Japanese poems. The model for this is the series of prints by Hokusai, "One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each As Explained by the Old Nurse," in which the artist explores the poems not so much in relation to their original setting as in relation to universal experience.
    The poetic method here is not syllable counting as in the original tanka, but achieves a similar compression in a manner appropriate to English through the use of mostly two-stressed lines, except where one stress carries the thought. The arrangement into tercets (three-line stanzas) is purely arbitrary. Yes, the poems are autobio-graphical; but of this I will say no more; every human heart holds secrets.
    To set the poems by an Oregonian side-by-side with those to which they respond, I have provided the Japanese poems with MacCauley's translation (1917), slightly modernized, on the left-hand pages.







100 poets, 1 poem each

From Hyakunin-Isshu (Single Songs of a Hundred Poets) and Nori no Hatsu-Ne (The Dominant Note of the Law) by Clay MacCauley.
Yokohama: Kelly and Walsh, Ltd., 1917

























100 poems

risa bear














てんじてんのう

あきのたの
かりほのいおの
とまをあらみ
わがころもでは
つゆにぬれつつ



1

(Emperor) Tenchi Tenno

Coarse the rush-mat roof
Sheltering the harvest-hut
Of the autumn rice-field —

And my sleeves are growing wet
With the moisture dripping through.




1

Sleeves dripping
from a hike
through heavy

autumnal rains,
I find shelter
amid tall books:

drying my hands,
I find one, lifting it
down with care from

a high shelf:
Hokusai. Prints,
depicting with love
hard country lives —

suddenly, tears.










じとうてんのう

はるすぎて
なつきにけらし
しろたえの
ころもほすちょう
あまのかぐやま



2

(Empress) Jito Tenno

Spring, it seems, has passed,
And the summer come again;
For the silk-white robes,

So 'tis said, are spread to dry
On the "Mount of Heaven's Perfume."




2

She moves in spring
as one who
has carried herself

all winter among
famous people.
Yet she does

her own housework;
knows, as her
ancestors knew,

to spread white wash
over rhododendrons
in bright sun, like

remnants of snow —
glimpses, which some
have seen, of

the mountain, robed
in blue ice.







かきのもとのひとまろ

あしびきの
やまどりのおの
しだりおの
ながながしよお
ひとりかもねん



3

Kakinomoto no Hitomaro

Ah! the foot-drawn trail
Of the mountain-pheasant's tail
Drooped like down-curved branch—

Through this long, long-dragging night
Must I keep my couch alone?




3

I took a room
and called it
Susuki-Grass Room

to honor Narihira.
Tonight, however,
I think of

Hitomaro, who slept
alone. Streets
below grow quiet.

in dream I climb,
checking
wayside benches —

I call, but your answer
is a single
pheasant feather

by the moonlit trail.








かきのもとのひとまろ

あしびきの
やまどりのおの
しだりおの
ながながしよお
ひとりかもねん



4

Yamabe no Akahito

When to Tago's coast
I the way have gone, and seen
Perfect whiteness laid

On Mount Fuji's lofty peak
By the drift of falling snow.




4

Remember climbing to
the lakes basin?
How, rounding

that last bend, we
were hammered down
by the glory of

summer snow —
Even the gray jays
alighting on our knees

to seek crumbs,
could not long bend
our eyes away.














さるまるだゆう

おくやまに
もみじふみわけ
なくしかの
こえきくときぞ
あきはかなしき



5

Sarumaru Dayu

In the mountain depths,
Treading through the crimson leaves,
Cries the wandering stag.

When I hear the lonely cry,
Sad — how sad — the autumn is!




5

I walk along
the ridge crest
with nothing in my hands.

Where are you now?
and how is it
I am alive here —

as snow begins
to fall?



















ちゅうなごんやかもち

かささぎの
わたせるはしに
おくしもの
しろきをみれば
よぞふけにける



6

Chunagon Yakamochi

If the "Magpie Bridge"
By flight of magpies spanned,
White with frost I see ,

With a deep-laid frost made white:
Late, I know, has grown the night.




6

Under stars
diamond hard,
I cross the log bridge

where we fed birds
by the lake,
skating my boots

like a young girl,
hoping to find you,
this time, cabined,

building a fire
on the open hearth.















あべのなかまろ

あまのはら
ふりさけみれば
かすがなる
みかさやまに
いでしつきかも



7

Abe no Nakamaro

When I look abroad
Over the wide-stretched "Plain of Heaven,"
Is the moon the same

That on Mount Mikasa rose,
In the land of Kasuga?




7

Moonrise, and I
am here.
And where you are —

moonrise.
























きせんほうし

わがいおは
みやこのたつみ
しかぞすむ
よをうぢやまと
ひとはいうなり



8

Kisen Hoshi (monk)

A lowly hut is mine,
Southeast from the capital.
Thus I choose to dwell –

And the world in which I live
Men have named "Mount of Gloom."




8

I lived two years
in a mountain's mists.
No one came to visit

the abandoned quarry.
I had fish every day,
and short summer's

sun seemed brighter
than it ever did
in town.


















おののこまち

はなのいろは
うつりにけりな
いたずらに
わがみよにふる
ながめせしまに



9

Ono no Komachi (Lady)

Color of the flower
Has already passed away
While on trivial things

Vainly I have set my gaze
In my journey through the world.




9

Did she remember
Narihira's sad dream
that she had died?

— when she journeyed
across the land,
years after he himself

was grass? -- and
have not we
done as he,

lying awake hour
after passing hour,
filled with dread

for love?












せみまる

これやこの
ゆくもかえるも
わかれては
しるもしらぬも
おうさかのせき



10

Semimaru

Truly, this is where
Travelers who go or come
Over parting ways —

Friends or strangers — all must meet:
The gate of "Meeting Hill."




10

Semimaru saw not:
I can barely hear.
In my room

I steam rice, make tea,
dress myself
to meet people.

I make them tell me
their names twice,
then help them as I can.

Though I play no lute,
I hope they will feel
as though they hear one

lilting among trees.












さんぎたかむら

わたのはら
やそしまかけて
こぎいでぬと
ひとにはつげよ
あまのつりぶね



11

Sangi Takamura

O'er the wide, wide sea,
Towards its many distant isles,
Rowing I set forth.

This, to all the world proclaim,
O ye boats of fisher-folk!




11

I walk on sand
and think to join
the gulls. We'll seek

a route across waves,
leaving behind
so many troubles.

The dory-boatmen
launch through surf,
their eyes

picking a way
through rocks ahead.














そうじょうへんじょう

あまつかぜ
くものかよいじ
ふきとじよ
をとめのすがた
しばしとどめん



12

Sojo Henjo (monk)

O ye Winds of Heaven!
In the paths among the clouds
Blow, and close the ways,

That we may these virgin forms
Yet a little while detain.




12

When first we went
to the country fair,
strange players wove

their spell round us
in lazing noon:
no one thought to leave,

or that the day
should end — had we
all turned into crows,

who would have been
surprised?















ようぜいいん

つくばねの
みねよりおつる
みなのがわ
こいぞつもりて
ふちとなりぬる



13

Yozei In

From Tsukuba's peak,
Falling waters have become
Mina's still, full flow –

So my love has grown to be
Like the river's quiet deeps.




13

The deepening river
flows toward sea:
it can then be enough

to sit together
without words.
couples pass, smiling

despite hard rain.




















かわらのさだいじん

みちのくの
しのぶもじずり
たれゆえに
みだれそめにし
われならなくに



14

Kawara no Sadaijin

Michinoku print
Of Shinobu's tangled leaves!
For whose sake have I,

Like confused, begun to be?
Only yours! I cannot change!




14

I have been lost
enough in love
not to know:

am I coming to be
or coming to end?
Wherever this is,

you are the fixed point;
though I am flooded
by all this emotion,

I am like smooth
river basalt —
indestructible for you.













こうこうてんのう

きみがため
はるののにいでて
わかなつむ
わがころもでに
ゆはふりつつ



15

(Emperor) Koko Tenno

It is for thy sake
That I seek the fields in spring,
Gathering green herbs –

While my garment's hanging sleeves
Are with falling snow beflecked.




15

I watched the nurse
with her blue spoon,
badgering Grandmother.

The old woman
stitched up her mouth
with what will

she had — determined
to choose her time,
her place, her way.


















ちゅうなごんゆきひら

たちわかれ
いなばのやまの
みねにおうる
まつとしきかば
いまかえりこん



16

Chunagon Yukihira

Though we parted be,
If on Mount Inaba's peak
I should hear the sound

Of the pine trees growing there,
Back at once I'll make my way.




16

We planted fir seedlings
in cold earth
across icy slopes.

Trees not yet logged
scraped and worried
in moaning winds,

showering us with
bark and cones.
I thought: will I

see you again,
should one of these
fall while my back

is bent?












ありわらのなりひらあそん

ちはやぶる
かみよもきかず
たつたがわ
からくれないに
みずくくるとは



17

Ariwara no Narihira Ason

I have never heard
That, even when the gods held sway
In the ancient days,

Ever was water bound with red
Such as here in Tatsuta's stream




17

Removing our hot
boots, we hung them
by laces and crossed

the rock-rolling stream
on shocked feet.
Work-weary as we

were, we stopped
to see maple finery
skip past our knees.


















ふじわらのとしゆきあそん

すみのえの
きしによるなみ
よるさえや
ゆめのかよいじ
ひとめよくらん



18

Fujiwara no Toshiyuki Ason

See the gathered waves
On the shore of Sumi's bay --
Even in gathered night,

When in dreams I come to you,
I must shun the eyes of men.




18

Even to dream
may shatter
my world.

What name
did I speak to
the night?






















いせ

なにわがた
みじかきあしの
ふしのまも
あわでこのよを
すぐしてよとや


19

(Lady) Ise

Even for a space
Short as joint of tiny reed
From Naniwa's marsh,

We must never meet again
In this life? This, do you ask?





19

How beautiful
your hands, tapping
my door, thirty

years ago.
Your heart knocked,
a fist against

my ribs. Whispering
my name, your lips
brushed mine. You

have been dead
almost half those years,
and, no — no time

has passed.












もとよししんのう

わびぬれば
いまはたおなじ
なにわなる
みをつくしても
あわんとぞおもう



20

(Prince) Motoyoshi Shinno

Now, in dire distress,
It is all the same to me!
So, then, let us meet

Even though it costs my life
In the Bay of Naniwa.




20

From me to you,
some three hundred
miles of ice? —

It's not so much.
























そせいほうし

いまこんと
いいしばかりに
ながつきの
ありあけのつきを
まちいでつるかな



21

Sosei Hoshi (monk)

Just because you said,
"In a moment I will come,"
I've awaited you

Even until the moon of dawn,
In the long month, has appeared.




21

I went to a place
of waiting. People
passed, and glanced,

curious. I did not
mind; you might
arrive or you might

not. Or maybe I was
mistaken. Or not —
what to do was

what to do.
















ふんやのやすひで

ふくからに
あきのくさきの
しをるれば
むべやまかぜを
あらしというらん


22

Bunya no Yasuhide

Since 'tis by its breath
Autumn's leaves of grass and trees
Riven are and waste –

Men may to the mountain wind
Fitly given the name, "The Wild."





22

You must know
the mountain wind
comes to me —

speaking your
wild thoughts.























おおえのちさと

つきみれば
ちぢにものこそ
かなしけれ
わがみひとつの
あきにはあらねど



23

Oe no Chisato

Gaze I at the moon,
Myriad things arise in thought,
And my thoughts are sad –

Yet, 'tis not for me alone,
That the autumn time has come.




23

Autumnal thoughts
drift to me
like petals browning,

like leaves. New
wrinkles in my hands
are well matched

to those in yours —
Now we have loved,
we cannot die.


















かんけ

このたびは
ぬさもとりあえず
たむけやま
もみじのにしき
かみのまにまに



24

Kan Ke (Sugiwara no Michizane)

At the present time,
Since no offering I could bring,
See, Mount Tamuke!

Here are brocades of red leaves,
At the pleasure of the god.




24

You who understand
may follow me to the
red mountain's slope —

and there accept
what only gods
may give.






















さんじょうのうだいじん

なにしおわば
おうさかやまの
さねかずら
ひとにしられで
くるよしもがな



25

Sanjo Udaijin (Fujiwara no Sadakata)

If your name be true,
Trailing vine of "Meeting Hill,"
Is there not some way

Whereby, without ken of men,
I can draw you to my side?




25

You, who are
so beautiful to me,
regard me as if

I were the beauty
to be seen.
As you gaze, I

avert my eyes
lest my breath stop.
Behind you, leaves

cling to the light
while sparrows
sing on.
  













ていしんこう

をぐらやま
みねのもみじば
こころあらば
いまひとたびの
みゆきまたなん



26

Teishin Ko (Fujiwara no Tadahira)

If the maple leaves
On the ridge of Ogura
Have the gift of mind,

They will longingly await
One more august pilgrimage.




26

As I pass by,
I touch the boles:
Hemlock, fir,

spruce, alder,
maple, cedar,
madrone, yew,

bright myrtle –
and you not here
to touch them.


















ちゅうなごんかねすけ

みかのはら
わきてながるる
いづみがわ
いつみきとてか
こいしかるらん


27

Chunagon Kanesuke

Over Mika's plain,
Gushing forth and flowing free,
Is Izumi's stream.

I know not if we have met:
Why, then, do I long for her?





27

When you asked
if you might
walk with me,

I said yes,
then looked
away. It is —

a thing we do.




















みなもとのむねゆきあそん

やまざとは
ふゆぞさびしさ
まさりける
ひとめもくさも
かれぬとおもえば



28

Minamoto no Muneyuki Ason

Winter loneliness
In a mountain hamlet grows
Only deeper, when

Guests are gone, and leaves and grass
Withered are — so runs my thought.




28

When you were gone
for days, I
kept camp alone.

Rising, I found
snow had come,
deep, silent.

In boots I made rounds.
Looking back,
I saw no track

but mine.
















おおしこうちのみつね

こころあてに
をらばやをらん
はつしもの
おきまどはせる
しらぎくのはな



29

Oshikochi no Mitsune

If it were my wish
White chrysanthemum to cull —
Puzzled by the frost

Of the early autumn time,
I by chance might pluck the flower.




29

I could not know
you waited for me here —
The blooms had fallen

so fast! Their petals
had obscured
your steps.






















みぶのただみね

ありあけの
つれなくみえし
わかれより
あかつきばかり
うきものはなし



30

Mibu no Tadamine

Like the morning moon,
Cold, unpitying was my love.
Since that parting hour,

Nothing I dislike so much
As the breaking light of day.




30

Once we had made up
our minds that you
should leave at morning —

we each in our way
prayed dawn would never
come.





















さかのうえのこれのり

あさぼらけ
ありあけのつきと
みるまでに
よしののさとに
ふれるしらゆき



31

Sakanoue no Korenori

At the break of day,
Just as though the morning moon
Lightened the dim scene,

Yoshino's fair hamlet lay
In a haze of falling snow.




31

Snow plumed straight down
like river foam.
I knew where

the trees were,
loading themselves
with white —

but could not
find them.



















はるみちのつらき

やまがわに
かぜのかけたる
しがらみは
ながれもあえぬ
もみぢなりけり



32

Harumichi no Tsuraki

In a mountain stream,
Builded by the busy wind,
Is a wattled barrier drawn.

Yet 'tis only maple leaves
Powerless to flow away.




32

I remember you,
when you were alive,
finding red salmon

in a pool. They whirled
like autumn leaves —
It made you sad

to see them with
no place to go,
upstream or down.


















きのとものり

ひさかたの
ひかりのどけき
はるのひに
しづごころなく
はなのちるらん



33

Ki no Tomonori

In the cheerful light
Of the ever-shining Sun,
In the days of spring;

Why, with ceaseless, restless haste
Falls the cherry's new-blown bloom?




33

Blooms on our pie-cherry
seem but to last
a day. So we think

of spring as swift —
but what season now
for us is not swift?






















ふじわらのおきかぜ

たれをかも
しるひとにせん
たかさごの
まつもむかしの
ともならなくに



34

Fujiwara no Okikaze

Whom then are there now,
In my age, so far advanced,
I can hold as friends?

Even Takasago's pines
Are not friends as of former days.




34

When I saw
the place where
you and I had

gathered apples,
what could I do?
What could I undo?

I wept.




















きのつらゆき

ひとはいさ
こころもしらず
ふるさとは
はなぞむかしの
かににおいける



35

Ki no Tsurayuki

No — as for man,
How his heart is none can tell,
But the plum's sweet flower

In my birthplace, as of yore,
Still emits the same perfume.




35

My earliest spring:
grass, not yet
mown, bowed

before the winds.
New sap, rising
in a solitary

plum, ran from
an open wound.



















きよはらのふかやぶ

なつのよは
まだよひながら
あけぬるを
くものいずこに
つきやどるらん



36

Kiyowara no Fukayabu

In the summer night,
While the evening still seems here,
The dawn has come.

In what region of the clouds
Has the wandering moon found place?




36

While you were away,
I moved our bed
to the river's edge —

the waters chuckled,
clattered and crashed,
flowing through my heart

all afternoon.




















ふんやのあさやす

しらつゆに
かぜのふきしく
あきののは
つらぬきとめぬ
たまぞちりける



37

Bunya no Asayasu

In the autumn fields,
When the heedless wind blows by
O'er the pure-white dew,

The myriad unstrung gems
Everywhere are scattered round.




37

After freezing rain
I become wary
of wayside

huckleberries: they
inveigle ice down
my neck, no matter

how mindfully
I think of you.



















うこん

わすらるる
みをばおもはず
ちかひてし
ひとのいのちの
をしくもあるかな



38

(Lady) Ukon

Though forgotten now,
For myself I do not care:
He by oath was pledged –

And his life, who is forsworn,
That is now pitiful.




38

When I remembered
what I had said
to the morning's

child, I drove
through rain for hours,
seeking one merchant

who might give aid
to a mother
with a empty hand.


















さんぎひとし

あさじうの
をののしのはら
しのぶれど
あまりてなどか
ひとのこいしき



39

 Sanji Hitoshi (Minamoto no Hitoshi)

Bamboo-growing plain,
With a field bearing small reeds --
Though I bear my lot,

Why is it too much to bear?
Why do I still love her so?




39

For color
of your eyes I could
never forget you —

on a mountain path
I saw at dawn
that color spread

on clouds below.




















たいらのかねもり

しのぶれど
いろにいでにけり
わがこいは
ものやおもうと
ひとのとうまで


40

Taira no Kanemori

Though I would conceal,
In my face it yet appears,
My fond, secret love —

So much that he asks of me,
"Does not something trouble you?"




40

It is when I think
of all you have meant
to me, that my face

does a thing some
see. They lean
across the table:

"What was that
about?"


















みぶのただみ

こいすちょう
わがなはまだき
たちにけり
ひとしれずこそ
おもいそめしか



41

Mibu no Tadami

Though indeed I love,
Yet the rumor of my love
Had gone far and wide

When no man then could know
That I had begun to love.




41

Those waiting
at the breakfast
table understood —

though they had not
been told.























きよはらのもとすけ

ちぎりきな
かたみにそでを
しぼりつつ
すえのまつやま
なみこさじとは



42

Kiyowara no Motosuke

Have we not been pledged
By the wringing of our sleeves,
Each for each in turn –

That over Sué's Mount of Pines
Ocean waves shall never pass?




42

Though I have stood
many times
beside this ocean,

and you have
never seen it —
I would believe

what we said
was true.



















ごんちゅうなごんあつただ

あいみての
のちのこころに
くらぶれば
むかしはものを
おもわざりけり



43

Chunagon Atsutada(Fujiwara no Atsutada)

Having met my love,
Afterwards my passion was,
When I measured it

With the feeling of the past,
As, if then, I had not loved.




43

Though I turned
away when you
watched me

braid my hair —
this, unlike all
that went before,

sheds on my life
continual light.



















ちゅうなごんあさただ

あうことの
たえてしなくは
なかなかに
ひとをもみをも
うらみざらまし



44

Chunagon Asatada(Tomotada)

If a trysting time
There should never be at all,
I should not complain

For myself oft left forlorn,
Or of her, in heartless mood.




44

One such, night,
we said, will do
to make us not

have lived in vain:
but these old words,
so many times

repeated, surprised us —
being true.



















けんとくこう

あわれとも
いうべきひとは
おもおえで
みのいたずらに
なりぬべきかな



45

Kentoku Ko (Fujiwara no Koremasu)

Sure that there is none
Who will speak a pitying word,
I shall pass away.

My death, alas, shall only be
My own folly's fitting end.




45

I knew by the look
you gave me, then,
I had made again

some sad mistake —
Yet looking back,
I remember only

walking by the river,
bending over pools
for pretty stones.


















そねのよしただ

ゆらのとを
わたるふなびと
かじをたえ
ゆくえもしらぬ
こいのみちかな



46

Sone no Yoshitada

Like a mariner
Sailing over Yura's strait
With his rudder gone –

Whither, o'er the deep of love,
Lies the goal, I do not know.




46

You should know
by now, this stream
in winter cannot

be crossed – or only
if you care not
where you will come

ashore.




















えぎょうほうし

やえむぐら
しげれるやどの
さびしきに
ひとこそみえね
あきはきにけり



47

Eikei Hoshi (monk)

To the humble cot,
Overgrown with thick-leaved vines
In its loneliness,

Comes the dreary autumn time —
And not even man is there.




47

Wading that far
river, turning over
stones for caddis

flies unborn,
you met no one –
not even me.






















みなもとのしげゆき

かぜをいたみ
いわうつなみの
おのれのみ
くだけてものを
おもうころかな



48

Minamoto no Shigeyuki

Like a driven wave,
Dashed by fierce winds on a rock,
So it is, alas!

Crushed and all alone am I;
Thinking over what has been.




48

You offered me water
in a glass, and said:
you must go.

I did; or tried to —
how was I to know
I was but a tide,

going, but returning
the same way?



















おおなかとみのよしのぶあそん

みかきもり
えじのたくひの
よるはもえ
ひるはきえつつ
ものをこそおもえ



49

Onakatomi no Yoshinobu Ason

Like the warder's fires
At the Imperial gateway kept
Burning through the night,

Through the day in the cooled ashes
The love still glows in me.




49

I thought I had
no objection —
but when you

returned, you
looked into my eyes
with pity.






















ふじわらのよしたか

きみがため
おしからざりし
いのちさえ
ながくもがなと
おもいけるかな



50

Fujiwara no Yoshitaka

For thy precious sake,
Once my eager life itself
Was not dear to me.

But 'tis now my heart's desire
It may long, long years endure.




50

I said to you,
as we stood beside
the lilacs:

"I used to think
I would not live long —
Now that I have

met you, I think
I will live
forever."


















ふじわらのさねかたあそん

かくとだに
えやわいぶきの
さしもぐさ
さしもしらじな
もゆるおもいを


51

Fujiwara no Sanekata Ason

That it is as it is,
How can I make known to her?
So, she may never know

That the love I feel for her
Like Ibuki's moxa burns.





51

Is this the last
day we may walk
together? Then

I suppose I might
leap into
the river —

Instead, I will
walk carefully,
minding my step

that I may keep
watching your face,
to remember it

always.












ふじわらのみちのぶあそん

あけぬれば
くるるものとは
しりながら
なおうらめしき
あさぼらけかな



52

Fujiwara no Michinobu Ason

Though I know full well
That the night will come again
E'en when day has dawned,

Yet, in truth, I hate the sight
Of the morning's coming light.




52

When I last saw you,
you walked me
to the station, and gave

me one quick hug,
then vanished.
How many times

I have remembered
how I hated that bus
when it rolled

serenely in
on time.















うだいしょうみちつなのはは

なげきつつ
ひとりぬるよの
あくるまは
いかにひさしき
ものとかはしる



53

Udaisho Michitsuna no Haha (Michitsuna's mother)

Sighing all alone,
Through the long watch of the night,
Till the break of day –

Can you realize at all
What a tedious thing it is?



53

When you have
been journeying,
life in the house

slows to a crawl.
I go the window
again and again.






















ぎどうさんしのはは

わすれじの
ゆくすえまでは
かたければ
きょうをかぎりの
いのちともがな



54

Gido Sanshi no Haha (Gido's mother)

If "not to forget"
Will for him in future years
Be too difficult –

It were well this very day
My life should close.




54

I thought, as I drove
by the river's edge —
you might do better

by my mistaking
this sharp curve.























だいなごんきんとう

たきのおとは
たえてひさしく
なりぬれど
なこそながれて
なおきこえけれ



55

Fujiwara no Kinto

Though the waterfall
In its flow ceased long ago,
And its sound is stilled --

Yet, in name it ever flows,
And in fame may yet be heard.




55

He speaks of her
as if her ever
going away

would be his breath
going away.
He does not yet know

she has already gone.




















いずみしきぶ

あらざらん
このよのほかの
おもいでに
いまひとたびの
あうこともがな



56

(Lady) Izumi Shikibu

Soon I cease to be.
One fond memory I would keep
When beyond this world.

Is there, then, no way for me
Just once more to meet with you?




56

I had almost died
under a distant
sun. I thought

I should write you again —
perhaps this time
you would be kind.






















むらさきしきぶ

めぐりあいて
みしやそれとも
わかぬまに
くもがくれにし
よわのつきかげ



57

Lady Murasaki Shikibu

Meeting in the way,
While I can not clearly know
If this is friend or not —

Already the midnight moon
In a cloud has disappeared.




57

Around us people
talked inanely;
we fled, seeking shadow.

When we sat
on the bench, then,
I thought this was

a beginning —
and yet we can never
meet again.


















だいにのさんみ

ありまやま
いなのささわら
かぜふけば
いでそよひとを
わすれやはする


58

Daini no Sanmi (LadyKataiko)

If Mount Arima
Sends his rustling winds across
Ina's bamboo-plains –

In truth, just as you say;
Yet how can I forget?





58

Why, then,
was I troubled
when you talked

of happiness knowingly?
Behind you,
chrysanthemums

listened attentively.




















あかぞめえもん

やすらわで
ねなましものを
さよふけて
かたぶくまでの
つきをみしかな



59

(Lady) Akazome Emon

Better to have slept
Carefree, than to keep vain watch
Through the passing night --

Till I saw the lonely moon
Traverse her descending path.




59

She had a knack that
if he failed to appear
she would walk alone,

admiring the view
over field and wood
as if he were there.

If then he came
late to the evening
she would not reproach,

saying only: look!
The Canada geese
have returned.














こしきぶのないし

おおえやま
いくののみちの
とければ
まだふみもみず
あまのはしだて


60

Lady Koshikibu no Naishi

As, by Oe's mount
And over Iku's plain, the way
Is so very far—

I have not yet even seen
Ama-no-hashidate. (The Bridge of Heaven).





60

I did not know
love had not gone;
impatient to

be seen, or touched,
or held, I
stood by the stairs

a long time, then
walked away.
what if I had

been there when you
looked up?















いせのたいふ

いにしへの
ならのみやこの
やえざくら 
きょうここのへに
においぬるかな



61

(Lady) Ise no Osuke

Eight-fold cherry flowers
That at Nara, ancient seat
Of Our State, have bloomed —

In Our Nine-fold Palace court
Shed their sweet perfume today.




61

I remember cherries
bloomed along
the still river

when our heads
were broken
for speaking

against war.
Young women,
young men

scattered like blossoms
before a blue
wind.














せいしょうなごん

よおこめて
とりのそらねは
はかるとも
よにおうさかの
せきはゆるさじ



62

(Lady) Sei Shonagon

Though in middle night,
By the feigned crow of the cock,
Some may be deceived —

Yet, at Osaka's gate
This can never be achieved.




62

If you wanted
astrology, I would
be an astrologer;

if you hoped for
music, a singer then.
As it was, you had

one wish only:
that I not
run away.

















さきょうのだいぶのみちまさ

いまはただ
おもいたえなん
とばかりを
ひとずてならで
いうよしもがな



63

Sakyo no Tayu Michimasa (Fujiwara no Michimasa)

Is there now no way,
But through others' lips, to say
These so fateful words —

That, henceforth, my love for you
I must banish from my thoughts?



63

After the storm,
I lit a lantern
and candles.

By this light
I could not see
to mend clothes,

read books, nor --
write to you.



















ごんちゅうなごんさだより

あさぼらけ
うじのかわぎり
たえだえに
あらはれわたる
ぜぜのあじろぎ


64

Gon-Chunagon Sadayori (Fujiwara no Sadayori)

At early dawn,
When the mists over Uji's stream
Slowly lift and clear,

The net-stakes on the shoals,
Near and far away, appear!





64

Searching for a lost
crew-woman, we
forded three creeks

in deepening fog.
It was ourselves
we lost then.






















さがみ

うらみわび
ほさぬそでだに
あるものを
こいにくちなん
なこそおしけれ


65

(Lady) Sagami

Even when my sleeves,
Through my hate and misery,
Never once are dry,

For such love my name decays.
How deplorable my lot!





65

I still defend you,
still blame myself —
I should extend

such courtesy
to the living.























さきのだいそうじょうぎょうそん

もろともに
あわれとおもえ
やまざくら
はなよりほかに
しるひともなし



66

(Abbot) Saki no Daisojo Gyoson

Let us, each for each
Pitying, hold tender thought,
Mountain-cherry flower!

Other than thee, lonely flower,
There is none I know as friend.




66

When my heart's string
snapped, I walked
for ten days on

the ridgeline trail.
All day, there,
chestnuts in blight

told me the same story
I was telling them.



















すおうのないし

はるのよの
ゆめばかりなる
たまくらに
かいなくたたん
なこそおしけれ



67

(Lady) Suo no Naishi

If, but through the dreams
Of a spring's short night, I'd rest
Pillowed on this arm,

And my name were blameless stained,
Hard, indeed, would be my fate.




67

Starting from sleep,
I turn and see
you resting.

But, no. It is
a trick of the light —
and I remain

one of those who
live alone.



















さんじょういん

こころにも
あらでうきよに
ながらえば
こいしかるべき
よわのつきかな


68

(Emperor) Sanjo-no-In

If, against my wish,
In the world of sorrows still
I for long should live —

How then I would pine
For this moon of middle-night.





68

The journey almost
complete, we talk
into the late hours.

Across the river,
geese arrive
by moonlight,

setting its image
dancing beneath
the trees — it's thus

we know joy
when the world
has no use for us.














のういんほうし

あらしふく
みむろのやまの
もみじばは
たつたのかわの
にしきなりけり


69

Noin Hoshi (monk)

By the windstorm's blast,
From Mimuro's mountain slopes
Maples' leaves are torn

And as rich brocades, are wrought
On Tatsuta's quiet stream.





69

In summer I rested
beneath these trees:
maple, ash,

cottonwood. Now,
their shadow gone,
I gather leaves

for the garden.
I'm anxious for
the garden to do

well — for you
to see it and be
pleased with me,

sitting together
in next summer's
shade.










りょうぜんほうし

さびしさに
やどおたちいでて
ながむれば
いずこもおなじ
あきのゆうぐれ


70

Ryozen Hoshi (monk)

In my loneliness
From my humble home gone forth,
When I looked around,

Everywhere it was the same —
One lone, darkening autumn eve.





70

Climbing to the top
of that cold peak
in the wilderness,

I thought to make
a circle and wait
for spirit guides.

Mice all night
ate at cowhide,
spoiling my dancing bells.

I thought all was off,
but after years I know
that I met them there,

my guides.












だいなごんつねのぶ

ゆうされば
かどたのいなば
おとずれて
あしのまろやに
あきかぜぞふく



71

Dainagon Tsunenobu (Minamoto no Tsunenobu)

When the evening comes,
From the rice leaves at my gate
Gentle knocks are heard,

And, into my round rush-hut,
Autumn's roaming breeze makes way.




71

Hear the difference
when there is wind
against a new house

and against an old house.
























ゆうしないしんのうけのきい

おとにきく
たかしのはまの
あだなみは
かけじやそでの
ぬれもこそすれ


72

(Lady) Yushi Naishinnoke no Kii

Well I know the fame
Of the fickle waves that beat
On Takashi's strand;

Should I go near that shore
I should only wet my sleeves.





72

I listened as
the old-timers told
their moldy tales.

One said: full
of ourselves, huh?
I said, Oh,

now I feel better:
For a bit I thought
you were just

full of yourselves!
















ごんちゅうなごんまさふさ

たかさごの
おのえのさくら
さきにけり
とやまのかすみ
たたずもあらなん


73

Gon-Chunagon (Oe no) Masafusa

On that distant mount,
O'er the slope below the peak,
Cherries are in flower;

May the mists of nearer hills
Not arise to veil the scene.





73

The mountains and
the flowering dogwoods
never were so beautiful

as that day our brakes
completely failed
and we rolled down.






















みなもとのとしよりあそん

うかりける
ひとをはつせの
やまおろしよ
はげしかれとは
いのらぬものを


74

Minamoto no Toshiyori Ason

I did not make prayer
At the shrine
That the unkind one

Should become as pitiless
As the storms of Hatsuse's hills.





74

Where can I go now
having asked
all the gods there are

for one kind look
from you, and you
showed me the door?

Mountain-stream places,
where wind is free.
Ah – that then

was kindness.
















ふじわらのもととし

ちぎりおきし
させもがつゆを
いのちにて
あわれことしの
あきもいぬめり


75

Fujiwara no Mototoshi

Though your promise was
"Like the dew on the moxa plant"
And, to me, was life,

Yet the year has passed
Even into autumn time.





75

Did I not
remember?
I was shown

a letter in my
hand. Beyond
the window the last

leaf fell from
the willows.



















ほっしょうじにゅうどうさきの
かんぱくだいじょうだいじん

わたのはら
こぎいでてみれば
ひさかたの
くもいにまがう
おきつしらなみ



76

Hoshoji no Nyudo Saki no Kanpaku Daijo-Daijin (Fujiwara no Tadamichi)

Over the wide wild seas
As I row and look around,
It appears to me

That the white waves, far away,
Are the ever shining sky.

76

I rode in the bow
till we lost sight
of land. Waves

caught us athwart,
and I found myself
waist-deep,

reaching for Japan.




















すとくいん

せをはやみ
いわにせかるる
たきがわの
われてもすえに
あわんとぞおもう



77

(Emperor) Sutoku

Though a swift stream be
By a rock met and restrained
In impetuous flow,

Yet, divided, it speeds on,
And at last unites again.




77

You stood still,
empty-armed,
as I walked on.

Even as I turned
toward the green hills,
I plotted how I might

return to you
forever. The green
hills had plans of

their own.
















みなもとのかねまさ

あわじしま
かようちどりの
なくこえに
いくよねざめぬ
すまのせきもり



78

Minamoto no Kanemasa

Guard of Suma Gate,
From your sleep, how many nights
Have you waked at cries

Of the plaintive birds
Migrant from Awaji's isle?




78

Along bright cliffs
above the broad
river, a meadowlark

guarded her eggs
by practicing
on me the ruse

of a seeming
broken wing. I,
who ought to have

known better,
guarded my wounds
twenty years

from you, the same
way.










さきょうのだいぶあきすけ

あきかぜに
たなびくくもの
たえまより
もれいずるつきの
かげのさやけさ



79

Sakyo no Tayu Akisuke (Fujiwara no Akisuke)

See how clear and bright
Is the moonlight, finding its way
Among the riven clouds

That, with drifting autumn-wind,
Gracefully float on the sky!




79

Turning toward me
with the momentary
moon still in your eye,

you said, how beautiful!
The more so to me:
your having seen

it so.




















たいけんもんいんのほりかわ

ながからん
こころもしらず
くろかみの
みだれてけさは
ものをこそおもえ


80

(Lady) Taiken Mon-In no Horikawa

If it be forever
That he wills our love should last?
I do not know;

This morn my anxious thoughts,
Like my black hair, are confused.





80

We are at our best
in the mornings,
cup in hand, enrobed,

no makeup, few words.
We remember what
we said in the night,

but do the men?




















ごとくだいじのさだいじん

ほととぎす
なきつるかたを
ながむれば
ただありあけの
つきぞのこれる


81

Fujiwara no Sanesada

When I turned my look
Toward the place whence
I had heard the cuckoo* —

All that was there
Was the moon of early dawn.

*hototogisu



81

Someone knocked
uproariously
at my cabin door;

three in the morning.
I rushed to open;
in frosted grass

before the door,
no footprints. The moon
alone, at full,

witnessed.
















どういんほうし

おもいわび
さてもいのちは
あるものを
うきにたえぬは
なみだなりけり


82

Doin Hoshi (monk)

Though in deep distress
Through a cruel blow, my life
Still is left to me;

But my tears I can not stall;
They will not my grief endure.





82

I'm told a monk
came to his
vocation through

disappointed love:
Incense and bells
meant to replace

sighs and tears.
What if one comes
to one's vocation

by love accepted?
















こうたいごうぐうのだいぶとしなり

よのなかよ
みちこそなけれ
おもいいる
やまのおくにも
しかぞなくなる



83

Kwotai Kogu no Tayu Toshinari (Fujiwara no Toshinari)

Within the world
No way of flight do I find.
I had thought to hide

In the mountains' farthest depths;
Yet even there the stag's cry sounds.



83

When, disappointed,
I went to the green hills
and walked for ten

days, it rained
every day; my
shoes were ruined.

I came to a shelter,
able to walk
no farther.

There I found,
with a note –
"You will need these" —

a pair of dry boots:
my size.











ふじわらのきよすけあそん

ながらえば
またこのごろや
しのばれん
うしとみしよぞ
いまはこいしき



84

Fujiwara no Kiyosuke Ason

If I long should live,
Then the present days
May be dear to me –

Just as past times, though filled with grief,
Gently return to mind.




84

Though I burned
with sorrow and shame,
losing you, I now

only remember
your affectionate
surprise that sunny

day, finding me
at the lakeshore.



















しゅんえほうし

よもすがら
ものおもうころは
あけやらぬ
ねやのひまさえ
つれなかりけり


85

Shunye Hoshi (monk)

Now — as through the night
Longingly I pass the hours,
And the day's dawn lags –

Even my windowshades
Heartless are to me.





85

A friend came home
from Zen training
has arranged his affairs.

In his room, only
mat and pillow;
from window:

only views.
Yet he has
one complaint:

I never, he says,
get mail.














さいぎょうほうし

なげけとて
つきやはものを
おもわする
かこちがうなる
わがなみだかな



86

Saigyo Hoshi (monk)

Is it then the moon
That has made me sad, as though
It had bade me grieve?

Lifting up my troubled face
I am all tears.




86

I walked till I came
to green poplars
and hickory trees.

I built a tall fire,
fed it dry bark
through the cold.

At midnight a bobcat
stepped through ferns
into firelight to lie down.

I think about this
when I am tempted
to unhappiness.














じゃくれんほうし

むらさめの
つゆもまだひぬ
まきのはに
きりたちのぼる
あきのゆうぐれ


87

Jakuren Hoshi (monk)

Lo, an autumn eve!
See the deep vale's mists arise
Among the fir-tree's leaves

That still hold the dripping wet
Of the chill day's sudden showers.





87

Even as I came
to a suitable cliff
thinking to jump,

clouds opened
to a splendid view —
Before me, in silence,

a hawk rode wind,
incandescent
in the sun.


















こうかもんいんのべっとう

なにわえの
あしのかりねの
ひとよゆえ
みをつくしてや
こいわたるべき


88

Koka Mon-In no Betto (an attendant to Empress Koka)

For but one night's sake,
Short as is a node of reed
Grown in Naniwa bay,

Must I henceforth long for him
With my whole heart, till life's close?




88

You, who seemed
least impassioned,
longest stood.

So I did not
panic, though my world
changed overnight.






















しょくしないしんのう

たまのおよ
たえなばたえね
ながらえば
しのぶることの
よわりもぞする


89

(Princess) Shokushi Naishinno

Life, you string of gems --
If you must end, end now.
For, if yet I live,

All I do to hide my love
May at last grow weak.





89

The small room
in the barn loft
shook. We lay then

each regarding other
in wonder, and laughed
together, saying:

it would never do
in the house; we
are never silent!

At which thought
sudden silence came.















いんぷもんいんのたいふ

みせばやな
おじまのあまの
そでだにも
ぬれにぞぬれし
いろはかわらず


90

Impu Mon-In no Taiu (attendant to princess Ryoshi)

Let me show him these!
Even the fisherwomen's sleeves
On Ojima's shores,

Though wet through and wet again,
Do not change their dyer's hues.




90

I had hoped to walk
with you on the sands
by the Western Ocean.

You would know
the meaning
of the dory-boatmens'

daily beaching
at full throttle,
risking all between

two waves.
















くじょうよしつね

きりぎりす
なくやしもよの
さむしろに
ころもかたしき
ひとりかもねん



91

Go-Kyogoku no Sessho Daijodaijin (Fujiwara no Yoshitsune)

On a chilling mat,
Drawing close my folded quilt,
I must sleep alone,

While all through the frosty night
Sounds a cricket's forlorn chirp.



91

Not meaning to be
unkind, I
thoughtlessly

caught crickets
at their singing —
then flung them

out far, to hear fish
rising to my
gift.


















にじょういんのさぬき

わがそでは
しおひにみえぬ
おきのいしの
ひとこそしらね
かわくまもなし


92

(Lady) Nijo-no-In no Sanuki

As a rock at sea,
At ebb-tide is hid from view,
So is my tear-drenched sleeve –

Never for a moment dry,
And unknown to human ken.





92

Even you do not know
why these tears
start in my eyes.

We stand together
looking to the hills —
hard-handed and plain,

yet each mysterious
to other.


















かまくらのうだいじん

よのなかは
つねにもがもな
なぎさこぐ
あまのおぶねの
つなでかなしも


93

Kamakura no Udaijin (Minamoto no Sanetomo)

Would that this, our world,
Might be ever as it is!
What a lovely scene!

See that fisherwoman's boat,
Rope-drawn along the beach.





93

The dory-boatmen
do not like tourists,
and yet this one,

rough-spoken as any,
surprises himself —
offering a drink

to me.




















さんぎまさつね

みよしのの
やまのあきかぜ
さよふけて
ふるさとさむく
ころもうつなり



94

Sangi Masatsune

From Mount Yoshino
Blows a chill, autumnal wind,
In the deepening night.

Cold the ancient hamlet is —
Sounds of beating cloth I hear.




94

The clerk makes change
for the woman
ahead of me,

and now it is my turn.
She puts the things
away, and makes

change. I look
to see if she's
still in there —

but nothing doing.
What will it take
to bring us both

to life again?












さきのだいそうじょうじえん

おおけなく
うきよのたみに
おおうかな
わがたつそまに
すみぞめのそで



95

(Abbot) Saki no Daisojo Jien

Though I am not fit,
I have dared to shield the folk
Of this woeful world

With my black-dyed sleeve —
I, who live on Mount Hiei.




95

It was not until
they proposed her
to speak on religion

that she grasped just
religion enough
to decline. Walk

kindly, kindly walk —
how do you
talk about that

for an hour?
















にゅうどうさきのだいじょう
だいじん

はなさそう
あらしのにわの
ゆきならで
ふりゆくものは
わがみなりけり


96

Nyudo Saki no Daijo-Daijin (Fujiwara no Kitsune)

Not the snow of flowers,
That the hurrying wild-wind drags
Round the garden court,

Is it that here, withering, falls —
That in truth is I, myself.


96

Walking in the forest
I found the scattered
bones of a deer.

I placed the skull
on a stump, saying,
"There. Now you

can see better."
Knowing this
was not so, and, shamed,

I stayed for an hour,
seeing for the deer.















ごんちゅうなごんさだいえ

こぬひとを
まつほのうらの
ゆうなぎに
やくやもしおの
みもこがれつつ



97

Gon-Chunagon Sadaie (Fujiwara no Teika)

Like the salt sea-weed,
Burning in the evening calm,
On Matsuo's shore,

All my being is afire,
Waiting one who does not come.




97

Poetess, you stand
heart-stranded
on this shore.

Had you stooped
to gather shells,
you might at least

have made a keepsake
for the one not here.



















じゅにいいえたか

かぜそよぐ
ならのおがわの
ゆうぐれは
みそぎぞなつの
しるしなりける



98

Junii Ietaka (Fujiwara no Ietaka)

At Nara's brook
Evening comes, and rustling winds
Stir the oak-trees' leaves—

Not a sign of summer left
But the sacred bathing there.




98

My daughter still
runs to me
when I come in.

I don't know how
to hold her; when
did she become

and so suddenly,
this woman, talking
of young men?


















ごとばいん

ひともおし
ひともうらめし
あじきなく
よをおもうゆえに
ものおもうみは



99

(Emperor) Gotoba-no-In

For some men I grieve —
Some men are hateful to me —
And this wretched world

To me, weighted down with care,
Is a place of misery.




99

At my age
I have lost
all wisdom.

No problem: the
world's wisdoms
pass over me

like summer showers.
In my own mind
wind and sun

go free.
















じゅんとくいん

ももしきや
ふるきのきばの
しのぶにも
なおあまりある
むかしなりけり


100

(Emperor) Juntoku-In

O Imperial House!
When I think of former days,
How I long for thee!

More than even the clinging ferns
Hanging beneath your ancient eaves.





100

We came to a house
some miner
had called home.

One door, no
windows, earth floor,
darkness from rafter

to sill. Still,
he could not have been
sad; to sit in

his doorway
mending gear,
he must have looked

west and east
all morning,
and east and west

at will.   

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