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Tanka Poems

Page history last edited by Anna Johnson 15 years, 2 months ago

Tanka poems

Translated by Geoffrey Bownas and Anthony Thwaite


Poems from p569-570 in World Literature textbook

“I Waited and I”—Princess Nukada

I waited and I

Yearned for you.

My blind

Stirred at the touch

Of the autumn breeze



“The End of My Journey”—Oshikochi Mitsune

The end of my journey

Was still far off,

But in the tree-shade

Of the summer mountain

I stood, my mind floating



“Now, I Cannot Tell”—Ki Tsurayuki

Now, I cannot tell

What my old friend is thinking:

But the petals of the plum

In this place I used to know

Keep their old fragrance.



“How Helpless My Heart!”—Ono Komachi

How helpless my heart!

Were the stream to tempt,

My body, like a reed

Severed at the roots,

Would drift along, I think.



“Every Single Thing”—Priest Saigyo

Every single thing

Changes and is changing

Always in this world.

Yet with the same light

The moon goes on shining.

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