Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Japanese Poets - Ono no Komachi


If you're familiar at all with classical Japanese poetry, then you probably already know about Ono no Komachi...but if you're not, then read on. :P

Ono no Komachi was a poet during the Heian period, and she was described as an amazingly beautiful woman. She had many suitors, and there is a story of one particular suitor -- Shii no Shosho -- who she agreed to see if he would visit where she lived every night for 100 nights...but the suitor fell ill and died on the 99th night.

source
I love her poetry, and this one is probably one of my favorites and one of the ones she is most famous for:

思ひつつ 
寝ればや人の 
見えつらむ 
夢と知りせば 
覚めざらまし

Did you come to see me
because I dropped off to sleep
tormented by love?
If I had known I dreamed,
I would not have awakened.
(--McCullough's translation.)

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful, but you always lose something in the translation.

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  2. A very short and effective piece! I also enjoy this artwork, it's all very beautiful. Makes me want to delve into all kinds of Japanese culture :) Following and supporting.

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  3. Not familiar with Japanese poetry at all. Does sound really interesting, though!

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  4. I'm stuck admiring those prints. We learned about the process in my Art History class today--interesting stuff.

    The poem is pretty, though. Nice and bittersweet.

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  5. Oh, this is lovely!
    Following and supporting! :)

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  6. japan culture is so interesting. i want to visit one day. are you from japan?

    get back at me brosephine

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  7. @Arcita

    No, I'm not from Japan. Just been studying Japanese for a long time now. :P I went for the first time over the summer, and I'll be studying abroad there for a year next year. :)

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  8. The man's eyebrow is epic! I think this poster is from Edo era, not Heian.

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  9. very well done, a simple elegance to it.

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  10. That's a beautiful poem. Good luck with your studies there! I'll be following the blog, Japanese culture really intrigues me. Hope to see more like this. : )

    -Fight
    Fighthesky.blogspot.com

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  11. Wish I could learn some japanese, I don't have a lot of time though.

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  12. I love poetry, excellent post.

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  13. Not much of a poetry kind of guy but enjoyed it nonetheless.

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  14. that is lovely prose, i'm sure the original words even greater beauty.

    http://underratedfilms.blogspot.com/

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