Twin Peaks: Poem Number 13

Mt.Tsukuba

The second poem in our series devoted to Valentine’s Day is this one:

JapaneseRomanizationTranslation
筑波嶺のTsukuba ne noLike the Mina River
峰より落つるMine yori otsuruthat falls from the peak
みなの川Minano-gawaof Mount Tsukuba
恋ぞつもりてKoi zo tsumoriteso my longing has collected
淵となりぬるFuchi to naru nuruand turned into deep pools.
Translation by Dr Joshua Mostow

According to commentaries, the poem, composed by Emperor Yōzei, was intended for “the princess of Tsuridono” who was Emperor Kōkō’s daughter. Sadly, Emperor Yōzei is better known for his severe mental instability in later years, and his other poetry was seldom never published.

Nevertheless, the analogy of Mount Tsukuba, pictured above, was an excellent choice. The mountain is famous in Japanese culture, especially for the two peaks: one called nantai (男体, “Man”) on the western side, and nyotai (女体, “Woman”) on the eastern side. It was a frequent topic used in love poetry back in the day. Even today, it is a very popular destination for tourists and nature lovers.

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: