Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sixty-Three



さきょうのだいぶのみちまさ

いまはただ
おもいたえなん
とばかりを

ひとずてならで
いうよしもがな





63

Sakyo no Tayu Michimasa (Fujiwara no Michimasa)

Is there now no way,
But through others' lips, to say
These so fateful words —

That, henceforth, my love for you
I must banish from my thoughts?






63

After the storm,
I lit a lantern
and candles.

By this light
I could not well see
to mend clothes,

read books, nor ...
write to you.




Notes

This minor magistrate is said to have aspired so high as to love the Emperor's daughter. So His Imperial Majesty has transferred her to preside over the shrine at Ise -- a position requiring celibacy. The young man arrives to test the "defenses" of the shrine, where Imperial guards make clear the Emperor's expectations.

The Old Nurse envisions the climactic scene, as two officials try to speak for the lad (languishing at left, with his other retainers). Indeed, nothing from him will reach her, through "other's lips" or otherwise. The guard's demeanor all but writes "it's over, kid" in iron.

Risa remembers being so far from her love, on a dark night in a tree planting camp, that even letter-writing seems both difficult and futile.


visipix.com