Thursday, January 10, 2013

Forty-Nine



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.



Notes:

Onakatomi no Yoshinobu, active in the 900s C.E., was an active compiler of poetry anthologies and one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals

Hokusai's Old Nurse envisions the moment at dawn, when the night watch has not yet been relieved and the men are lazily stretching and thinking, perhaps of their beds -- while the lover sits, with his attendant, on the nearby bluff, musing on a distant or perhaps lost love.

http://www.visipix.com
Risa's response poem remembers a particularly difficult moment in a relationship she thought she'd understood.