Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Forty




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 it,
In my face, it appears --
My foolish secret love.

So much so, my friend 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?"




Notes

Taira no Kanemori, active in the 900s C.E., was governor of Echigo province and a noted poet. He is one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals, and a number of his poems survive in collections. Here, he drops in on a friend, trying to be casual, but his distraction gives him away.

Hokusai's Old Nurse envisions people lined up for a reading from a physiognomist. Surely, under the gaze of the specialist with the magnifying glass, our poet will be found out. Better put this off!

Risa, who has never been able to conceal her feelings, has been through this many times and can relate! There is really no privacy where love is concerned.


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