Poem #208 from Manyoushuu

Manyoushuu ("ten thousand leaves") was the earliest anthology of Japanese poetry, dated back ca. 759. I have already quoted the famous poem of Sami Mansei from Manyoushuu, now here is another one, the author of which is unknown. In fact, over half of the poems in Manyoushu are anonymous.
Romaji transcription:
akiyama no
momiji wo shigemi
imo wo motomemu
yamamichi shirazu mo
Translation by myself:
The mountains in automn
there are so much fallen leaves,
- looking for my lost wife/lover
I cannot find the path.
shigeki is an old adjective meaning "be excessive". The mi suffix to an adjective expresses cause, so shigemi means "because of [the fallen leaves are] excessive..."

imo is written with the kanji for imouto: "younger sister". But in these old poems it means simply "beloved woman", or "wife".

madoinuru comes from the madou, "to get puzzled, get lost". The nu suffix means perfect, "has gotten puzzled". madohinuru is in rentaikei form: this form is used when a verb is set before a noun as a qualifier. madohinuru is the qualifier of imo.

motomemu comes from the verb motomeru: "to seek; to request". The mu suffix expresses intention.

This is again one of my favourite poems.

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