Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

As I wait for you

full of  yearning the bamboo

blind on my front door

swings in a puff of

autumn breeze

 

Princess Nukata

Man’yōshū, Scroll 4, Love. The prefatory note says, “A poem Princess Nukata wrote in longing for Emperor Tenji.” Princess Nukata is one of the most famous of the women poets of the Man’yōshū. Originally the consort of Prince Ōama, she later became a consort of the Prince’s brother, Emperor Tenji. As she waits and wonders if the Emperor will come, the bamboo blind on her door sways. It was the autumn breeze that made it move, she thinks, and my longing is like that, flickering to life at the slightest puff of wind. She writes with great naturalness of a complex emotion. A love poem which shows the author’s poetic stature.

 


君待つと

Kimi matsu to



わが恋ひをれば

waga koi oreba



わが屋戸の

waga yado no



すだれ動かし

sudare ugokashi



秋の風吹く

aki no kaze fuku

額田王(ぬかたのおおきみ)

『万葉集』巻四相聞。「額田王、近江天皇を思(しの)ひて作る歌」と詞書。万葉女流中にその名も高い額田王は、大海人(おおあま)皇子の妃だったが、のち皇子の実兄天智天皇(近江天皇)の妃の一人となった。いつおいで遊ばすかと心待ちにしていると、戸口のすだれが動く。秋風がすだれをそっと揺すっているのだったが、私の心もすだれとともに、ほんのわずかな風にもゆらぐのだ。ごく自然に詠んでいて中身は濃い。作者の力量を示した恋の歌。