Friday, February 10, 2012

Forty-One



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.






Notes

Risa does not enlarge upon the poet's meaning but instead concentrates it into a single image. Of course, those at the table who understand without being told (as she envisions this) are other women -- most men seem much slower on the uptake in these matters.

Mibu no Tadami was a court poet and a designated member of the Thirty-Six Poetry Immortals; many of his poems are extant.

There appears to be no work by Hokusai extant for this poem.