Ono no Komachi – Poem of love (Puisi Cinta)
The poem appeares as No. 658 in the Kokin Wakashu, an old anthology of poems from the 12th century. Komachi was a classic even at that time: she lived in the 9th century.
yumeji ni wa
ashi mo yasumezu
utsutsu ni hitome
mishigoto wa arazu
A line-by-line translation:
in [my] dreams / along dream paths
without resting my legs
[I] go often [to you]
in the real world, a single glimpse
kayoedomo is from kayou “to commute”, “to come and go”. kayoe is the izenkei form; domo is a suffix like keredo, meaning “although…”.
hitome means “a glimpse”. Usually it is written as 一目, but hito also means “a person”, so hitome implies by this ambiguity that its a glimpse of a person, and a loved one. Anyway, this is a love poem…
mishi is the rentaikei of miki, the past tense of miru, “to see”. In modern Japanese, it would be mita.
arazu means “there is no” (arimasen in modern Japanese), and “it is not, it is different” (de wa nai). Actually, somewhere I read another translation of this poem, I cant recall it exactly, but something like this:
“I go often to you in my dreams, but I never see you in the real world.”
In a way, this is a possible translation too, but then, where is the poesie?
Matsuo Basho (Sajak pendek)
Matsuo Basho’s name should be known even for Westerners. His haikus have been translated into many languages. Its difficult to explain what makes these very short poems so extraordinary…
Kasa kite waraji
Another year is gone;
and I still wear
straw hat and straw sandal.
kureru: – get dark, come to an end. The nu suffix expresses
completeness: toshi kurenu – The year has come to an end.
kakashi no sode ya
yowa no shimo
I would sleep,
borrowing the sleeve of the scarecrow.
nemu is from neru – to sleep. The mu suffix
indicates intention or conjecture.