☆Ootomo-no Sakanoue-no Iratsume’s poem:
Aheru toki dani
So precious a time,
We could meet after a while ―
Long a while of longing,
Say it all out that you adore,
Should you wish us forevermore!
As touched upon in the preceding song introductions, esp. Vol.4-607, Ootomo-no Sakanoue-no Iratsume, Ootomo-no Yakamochi’s aunt, left the biggest number of poems (83!) among poetesses, in Man-Yoh-Shuh, and many of the songs were love songs. This poem in particular is famous in that the song makes a step beyond the normal area of love songs. In ordinary love songs sung by women, the poems are centering upon the woman’s wish to meet her love, sweetheart or husband and her wish ends right there, while this song of Sakanoue asks not only meeting her love (which the song itself admits is realized already), but asks the man to speak and say it out, everything sweet and true about the two of them. She even hints a touch of intimidation by saying, “Say it if you wish to keep the relation!” Looks as though it’s the forerunner of modern feminism?