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Ono no Komachi translations

As I slept in isolation
my desired beloved appeared to me; 
therefore, dreams have become my reality
and consolation. 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Submit to you —
is that what you advise? 
The way the ripples do
whenever ill winds arise? 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Watching wan moonlight
illuminate bare tree limbs, 
my heart also brims, 
overflowing with autumn.
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

If fields of autumn flowers
can shed their blossoms, shameless, 
why can't I also frolic here — 
as fearless and as blameless? 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Wretched water-weed that I am, 
severed from all roots: 
if rapids should entice me to annihilation, 
why not welcome their lethal shoots? 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

I had thought to pluck
the flower of forgetfulness
only to find it 
already blossoming in his heart.
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Though I visit him
continually in my dreams, 
the sum of all such ethereal trysts
is still less than one actual, solid glimpse. 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

That which men call "love" — 
is it not merely the chain
preventing our escape 
from this world of pain? 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Did you appear
only because I was lost in thoughts of love
when I nodded off, day-dreaming of you? 
(If only I had known that you weren't true
I'd have never awakened!) 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Sad, 
the end that awaits me— 
to think that before autumn yields
I'll be a pale mist
shrouding these rice fields.
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

In this dismal world
the living decrease
as the dead increase;
oh, how much longer
must I bear this body of grief?
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Once-colorful flowers faded
while in my drab cell
life's impulse also abated
as the long rains fell. 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

This vain life! 
My looks and talents faded 
like these cherry blossoms inundated
by endless rains
that I now survey, alone.
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Now bitterly I watch
the fierce autumn winds
battering the rice stalks
suspecting I'll never again
find anything to harvest.
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

This abandoned 
mountain village house:
how many nights
has autumn sheltered there? 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019




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