Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fifty-Two




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

How many times
I have remembered
how I hated that bus

when it rolled you
serenely away.


Notes

Fujiwara no Michinobu Ason, one of the Thirty-Six Poetry Immortals, died at 23. His work exists in several collections. This is thought of as a 'morning-after" poem. It is sometimes illustrated as from a man's point of view, sometimes a woman's. 

Hokusai's Old Nurse comically sees the "morning after" as a whole caravan of anonymously buttoned-up palanquins racing away down a dangerous incline at dawn, their way lit by lanterns. Lovers often care not what risks they (or, if rich, their retainers) run.

www.visipix.com
Risa remembers a time when she was separated from her love by a huge "palanquin" -- the intercity bus.