I Give Up Trying to Learn to Play the Lute

I was certain that lute and calligraphy would help my studies,
idle seasons beside the window, seven stretched strings—
but no concentration of mind brings improvement—I squint in vain at the score,
fingering so confused I keep having to ask the teacher.
My choppy “Rapids” never has an autumn river sound,
my frigid “Raven” no sadness of a nighttime cry.
Music experts all inform me I'm merely wasting time—
better stick to the family tradition, writing poems!
Author of original: 
Sugawara no Michizane
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