A working space for my notes on Ogura Hyakunin Isshu - a classical Japanese anthology of 100 poems by 100 poets. My thanks to Jane Reichhold and fellow members of the AHApoetry Forum for their encouragement, advice and participation; and also to my fellow fellow members of Eratosphere for their comments and suggestions.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

#018 住の江の

住の江の 
岸による波 
よるさへや 
夢の通ひ路 
人目よくらむ 

Fujiwara no Toshiyuki 

Suminoe no kishi ni yoru nami yoru sae ya yume no kayohiji hitome yoku ran 




at Suminoe bay
the waves gather at the shore
even through the night
it seems you shun being seen
and no longer walk my dreams

(why do you remain unseen
even on the path of dreams)

(Trans. Köy Deli )
the Suminoe shore
is found by the waves
even at night
on the pathways of dreams
why do I fail to see you?




(Trans. Jane Reichhold)




Parsing

Suminoe no
 
place name | of 
kishi ni yoru nami 
shore | at | drop by | waves 
yoru sae ya 
night | even | ! 
yume no kayohiji 
dream | of | path 
hitome yoku ran 
glimpse | avoid | why? 

Devices 

1. Jokotoba (preface or prologue which may relate (via metaphor, simile for example) to the following statement – the relationship between preface and statement however does not always, and may not neccesarily , make such sense). Often a statement about the natural world (the waves fall on the shore even at night) followed by a parallel or contra-parallel statement regarding a human condition, situation or sentiment (but can’t get to see me at night even in my dreams). Sometimes a punning word or pivot line leads from the preface to the statement (as here with ‘even at night’). 

2. Utamakura (Intertextual and culturally conventional allusions related to a word, esp., place names). Suminoe beach was famed for its scenic mountain pines, and 'pines' (matsu) as we seen in a previous waka is also a homophone for 'waiting'. So though allusion we get the sense of someone who is awaiting someone, but is denied even a glimpse even in their dreams. 

3. Kakari-musubi (a particle which in association with a predicate form gives a sense of doubt, interrogation, question). 

4. Kaketoba (the word yoru = ‘drops by’ and ‘night’, the middle line as pivot between upper and lower couplets.) 

5. Engo (associated words – kaketoba of ‘drop by’ (yoru) leads to night (yoru) which by association leads to ‘dream’. 

Notes 

As a song of incantation, this waka is said to invoke divinatory dreams. Write it under a slip of paper and put it under your pillow, and recite the song from memory on going to sleep. On the third night you will dream of one whose love is true. 




Suminoe
住の江 
place name


no
 
genitive particle
kishi
bank, coast, shore, beach


ni
locative particle
yoru
よる 
to be due to; to depend on; to gather, to visit, drop in/near/by


nami
 
wave


yoru
よる []
evening, night


sae
さへ
even; even...in addition


ya
 
final or expressive particle expressive of exclamation, irony or rhetorical question.
yume
dream,


kayohiji
通ひ路
a path, route, road, track to go back and forth on, to ply between


hitome
人目
make an appearance, public gaze, glimpse


yoku
よく[避ける]
evade, avoid, avert, ward off, shirk, shun


ran
らむ
aux. verb of speculation, hypothesis, conjecture of cause



1 comment: