The Cold Morning: Poem Number 52

February 13, 2013

Genji emaki 01003 009

For our final poem for Valentine’s Day, I thought this was another good choice:

明けぬれば Akenureba
暮るるものとは Kururu mono to wa
知りながら Shiri nagara
なをうらめしき Nao urameshiki
あさぼらけかな Asaborake kana

Which Professor Mostow translates as:

Because it has dawned,
it will become night again—
this I know, and yet,
ah, how hateful it is—
the first cold light of morning!

The author of the poem, Lord Fujiwara no Michinobu (972-994), was the adopted son of the powerful Fujiwara no Kane’ie who was the husband of the mother of Michitsuna (poem 53), author of the Gossamer Years. Kane’ie was known for his philandering, and it seems that his adoptive son had a relationship or two as well, though sadly he died at the age of 23 according to Mostow.

This is another classic “Morning After” poem, which we’ve featured here, here and here.

Lord Michinobu dreads the rising sun because it means he has to sneak back to his own residence, away from his lover. Judging by his reaction, it must have been a night well-spent together. 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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