Point/counterpoint: suffering and fate

Here's a story from the Genroku seken-banashi fūbun shū ("Genroku Gossip and Rumor Collection"), attributed to a TANAKA Kenzaemon:

Unable to find any work to sustain him, a poor man spent the night at Asakusa Temple praying to Kannon for help. When he fell asleep, she appeared before him in a dream and spoke:

 To suffer like this is your fate--
 What good can come
   of praying at my gate?

Annoyed, the dreaming man responded:

 If fate had dealt me better cards
 I wouldn't need
   to pray so goddamn hard!

-- and kicked her off the verandah. Struggling to her feet, Kannon muttered "Yeah, I guess not," and went back inside the temple.

In the original, Kannon's words and the man's reply are both tanka:



By the way, this isn't one of those valuable-as-history-but-boring-as-reading books that you have to force yourself through. The very first rumor listed is about a guy who spills his guts, and yes I do mean literally.

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ah "no-sword" means not a samurai! i just noticed. im picking up aussie english like ROCK UP.. kewl innit.

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