Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tanka of Yosano Akiko

Here is a beautiful translation of a tanka
of Yosano Akiko, by Dogo Barry Graham.

You've never known
this hot blood,
this wet flesh -
are you not lonely,
explainer of the Way?

No words of Dharma,
no thought of afterwards,
no thought of fame or gain -
love beyond love,
looking at each other.

End of Autumn.
Everything changes.
No free will.
Squeeze my tits
in your strong hands.

I envied her beauty.
Now the incense smoke
curls around the hair
of my friend whom
we will now bury.
I was moved by these phrases

looking at each other
are you not lonely?
my friend
love beyond love
free will
we will now bury

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