Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fifty-Eight



だいにのさんみ

ありまやま
いなのささわら
かぜふけば

いでそよひとを
わすれやはする



58

Daini no Sanmi (Lady Kataiko)

Mount Arima
Sends his rustling winds across
Ina's bamboo-plains –

Even so, I can
Never forsake you.





58

Why, then,
was I troubled
when you talked

of happiness?
Was it because
the chrysanthemums

eavesdropped?



Notes

We do not have a Hokusai illustration for this poem. Any image of a lady anxiously parsing her lover's vacillating opinion concerning her steadiness or constancy would do.

The poet was Lady Murasaki's daughter, and an important Court retainer in her own right.

Risa speaks of her own discomfort when her loved one spoke of an enthusiasm she could not share, leading her to thoughts of separation -- a kind of death.