Can't find this poem...

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Can't find this poem...

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:42 pm

Keiha

I read, heaven only knows where, a poem basically stating lovers' wish to be reborn as butterflies so that they may be together in the next life. It probably has something to do with the Chinese story of the Butterfly Lovers, at least in allusion, but I can't find it in any of my poetry books and I'm going crazy!

In my copy of Kwaidan, in the butterfly section, there is a poem that Hearn translated:

むつましや生まれ変われば野辺の蝶

mutsumashi ya umare kawareba nobe no chou

"If (in our next existence) we be born into the state of butterflies upon the moor, then perchance we may be happy together!"

The translation of the poem I'm looking for was pretty much the same wording, but more melancholy. This poem that Hearn translated is by Issa, on the occasion of divorcing his wife. The poem I'm looking for, I remember being distinctly about 2 lovers who can't be together and decide to commit love suicide, praying to be reborn as butterflies. Any help is greatly appreciated! Help me jog my memory!

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Re: Can't find this poem...

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:43 pm

tzippurah

It reminds me of a kabuki performance I saw- the piece was called Cho no Michiyuki, the last journey of two butterflies.
"Chô no Michiyuki" is a travel dance about two butterflies which are the spirits of the tragic young lovers Komaki and Sukekuni, who chose to be united in death since their families would not allow them to be together in life. The two butterflies fly among the flowers, recalling their memories, like their first meeting when they fell in love with each other. They met by chance at the local shrine festival when Komaki's long sleeve was caught on Sukekuni's scabbard. Unfortunately for these two young people, there was a feud between their families, which made their marriage impossible. Moreover, their death as substitutes for another couple, Kitabatake Yukienosuke and Princess Yayoi, was also a necessity. They were reincarnated after their death as a pair of butterflies, free to fly together and remember their previous life amid the flowers.(1)
Sorry, I didn't know your poem.

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Re: Can't find this poem...

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:43 pm

SuzumeOdori

I think I found the original, which is fairly simple if you'd like to do your own translation. :)

むつましや生まれ変われば野辺の蝶

Mutsumashi ya umare kawareba nobe no chou

Literally it's "Like harmony if born again field butterflies" but more fluidly I would put it as "If we are born again, let's be butterflies happily living together in the fields."

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Re: Can't find this poem...

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:44 pm

Keiha

tzippurah: That sounds like a wonderful story! I'll check that out asap (about to head to work :( )

SuzumeOdori: That is the exact poem which is NOT my poem XD. I didn't add the Japanese in my OP, I'll do that now. Thank you though! What book did you find that in? I first heard it in Lafcadio Hearn's Kwaidan. (Also: Your penpal letter is on its way, I promise! >.>)

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