Friday, October 14, 2011

Twenty



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.




Notes

Two syllables short of a haiku, Risa's response to the Prince's waka recalls a journey she undertook on a motorcycle during an ice-out. Madness, but, then, so is love.

The Prince (active 900s C.E.) was noted for affairs of the heart, and a number of his poems appear in the Tales of Yamato.

Hosukai's Old Nurse depicts Motoyoshi (or perhaps his lady friend) en route to an assignation along the shores of Naniwa (Osaka) Bay, disguised as a sheaf of grain. Ladies appear to avert their gaze, tipping their umbrellas so as not to see the strange sight -- perhaps everyone saw through him?


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