I am a Cat (Chapter 6 b) Section 200 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

主人しゅじん無言むごんのままようやくいちページはぐっていよいよ巻頭かんとう第一章だいいっしょう

んじてくんずる香裏こうりきみ

れい相思そうしけむりたなびき

おおわれ、ああ我、からこの

あまくしかあつくちづけ

「これは少々しょうしょうぼくにはしかねる」と主人は嘆息たんそくしながら迷亭めいていわた。「これは少々ふるぎてる」と迷亭は寒月かんげつに渡す。寒月は「なああるほど」とって東風とうふうくんかえ

先生せんせい御分おわかりにならんのはごもっともで、十年じゅうねんぜん詩界しかい今日こんにちの詩界とは見違みちがえるほど発達はったつしておりますから。このごろ寝転ねころんでんだり停車場ていしゃばで読んではとうていわかりようがないので、つくった本人ほんにんですら質問しつもんける返答へんとうきゅうすることがよくあります。まったインスピレーションので詩人しじんそのには何等なんら責任せきにんもないのです。註釈ちゅうしゃく訓義くんぎ学究がっきゅうのやる事で私共わたくしどもほうではとんかまいません。せんだっても私の友人ゆうじん送籍そうせきおとこ一夜いちやという短篇たんぺんをかきましたが、だれが読んでも朦朧もうろうとしてめがつかないので、当人とうにんってとく主意しゅいのあるところをただしてのですが、当人もそんな事はらないよと云ってわないのです。全くそのへんが詩人の特色とくしょくかとおもいます」「詩人かもれない随分ずいぶんみょう男ですね」と主人が云うと、迷亭が「馬鹿ばかだよ」と単簡たんかん送籍君をめた。東風君はこれだけではまだべんりない。「送籍は吾々われわれ仲間なかまのうちでも取除とりのですが、私の詩もどうか心持こころもそので読んでいただきたいので。ことに御注意ごちゅういねがいたいのはからきこの世と、あまき口づけとついをとったところが私の苦心くしんです」「よほど苦心をなすった痕迹こんせきえます」「あまいとからいと反照はんしょうするところなんか十七味調じゅうしちみちょう唐辛子調とうがらしちょう面白おもしろ。全く東風君独特どくとく伎倆ぎりょう敬々服々けいけいふくふくいただ」としきりに正直しょうじきひとまぜかえしてよろこんでいる。

Rough translation

The master says nothing, but flips the page, and after a pause, finally reads out the first work.

Delights of fragrant aroma, your

Soul perchance, lingering wisps of requited affection

Oh, the agony! Ah, the torment! This bitter existence

The sweetly-won warmth of your kiss

"I'm afraid I don't get it." The master, with a sigh, hands the text to Meitei. "It's a bit overblown." Meitei hands it to Kangetsu. "What to make of it?" Kangetsu gives it back to Tōfū.

"I'm not surprised it failed to resonate. The poetry scene is ever-evolving, and the pace of change is faster now than ever. Poetry today is nothing like your poetry of a decade ago. Today's poems are not for bedtime reading or for killing a moment at the station. Even the poet himself, when pressed for explanation, will struggle for an answer. The sole obligation of today's poet is fidelity to his own inspiration. Annotations and assists are for academics, not for us modern writers. The other day, a friend of mine named Souseki penned a short story titled 'Ichiya.' None of us could make heads or tails of it, so I went to him and asked what it was about. He said he couldn't tell me and offered nothing further. That, I believe, is what it means to be a poet." "He may be a poet, but he's also an oddball," the master offers. "He's an idiot." Meitei cuts Souseki down in no uncertain terms. Tōfū is unwilling to let it rest. "Granted Souseki's an anomaly, even among us poets, but it's best if you approach my work with a touch of that same spirit. In particular, notice how I've gone to great length to juxtapose 'bitter existence' with 'sweetly-won warmth.'" "Your efforts have not gone unnoticed." "I love your contrast of bitter and sweet. No less intriguing than eleven secret herbs and spices. Your creativity speaks for itself, and I'm more than a little impressed." Meitei, the lord of banter, has Tōfū, the sincere artist, firmly in his clutches.

Vocabulary

主人しゅじん master無言むごんのまま without speakingいちページ page one; first pageはぐって turn over巻頭かんとう beginning; body (of a work)第一章だいいっしょう first chapterす begin to read んじて delight in; savor (archaic)くんずる be fragrant; be sweetly scented香裏こうり aromaきみ you れい soul; spirit相思そうし mutual affectionけむり smoke; vapors; wispsたなびき lingering; hovering われ I; me; oneselfからき severe; bitter; harshこの this world; this life て gain; attain; procureあつき ardent; hot; passionateくちづけ kiss 少々しょうしょう somewhat; somehow; in some senseぼく I; meしかねる can't comprehand; fail to grasp嘆息たんそくしながら with a sigh迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)わたす hand; pass (to)ふるぎて be over-evocative; be overly spirited寒月かんげつ Kangetsu (name)って say; state東風とうふう Tōfū (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)かえす give back; return 先生せんせい teachers; professors; scholars (used here as form of address)御分おわかりにならん (you) don't understand; can't comprehendごもっとも natural; reasonable十年じゅうねん ten yearsぜん before; prior詩界しかい world of poetry; poetry scene今日こんにち this day; the present見違みちがえる hardly recognize発達はったつして develop; progress; advanceこのごろ these days poems; poetry寝転ねころんで in repose; lying aboutんだり read停車場ていしゃば railway stationわかりようがない cannot be understoodつくった created; composed本人ほんにん the person in question; the person himself質問しつもん question; queryける receive返答へんとう reply; responseきゅうする struggle with; be pressed forこと situation; caseまったく utterly; entirelyインスピレーション inspirationく write; compose詩人しじん poetその other than that何等なんらの (no) sort of責任せきにん responsibility; obligation註釈ちゅうしゃく notes; comments; annotation訓義くんぎ reading and meaning of kanji学究がっきゅう academic (type)私共わたくしども we; usほう sideとんと (not) at allかまいません not concern oneself (with something)友人ゆうじん friend送籍そうせき Sōseki (name; play on 漱石そうせき)う called ...おとこ man; fellow一夜いちや Ichiya (One Evening; impressionistic story penned by Sōseki in 1906)短篇たんぺん short storyだれ who; whoever朦朧もうろうとして vague; obscure; ambiguousめがつかない be beyond comprehension; be incoherent当人とうにん the person in question; heって meet (with)とくと carefully; thoroughly主意しゅい idea; meaning; gistただして ascertain; confirmた tried to ...らない don't know; can't sayわない not respond; not accommodateそのへん such matters; such behavior特色とくしょく idiosyncrasy; characteristicおもいます think; suspect; supposeかもれない may be ...随分ずいぶん very much; a great dealみょうな odd; strange馬鹿ばか fool; idiot単簡たんかんに in simple termsめた cut down; disparaged; dismissedまだべんりない have more to say (on a matter)吾々われわれ we; us仲間なかま company; group; circle取除とりのけ exception; anomaly心持こころもち somewhat; slightly; just a little feeling; mood; ambience御注意ごちゅうい note; noticeねがいたい ask; requestつい contrast; juxtaposition苦心くしん effort; pains; labor痕迹こんせき traces; effectsえます be apparent反照はんしょうする reflect; mirror十七味調じゅうしちみちょう唐辛子調とうがらしちょう packing myriad flavors (from expressions for '17-character haiku' and 'blend of 7 spices')面白おもしろい interesting; intriguing独特どくとく uniqueness; novelty伎倆ぎりょう ability; competency; talent敬々服々けいけいふくふく great admiration; deep respect (= 敬服けいふく)いたり the height of; the limit ofしきりに eagerly; incessantly正直しょうじきな honest; candid; sincereひと person; manまぜかえして mess with; make sport ofよろこんで be delighted; be pleased