Love VIII: 6

Left (Tie)
いはざりき我身古屋の忍ぶ草思ひたがへて種を播けとは

iwazariki
wa ga mi furuya no
shinobugusa
omoitagaete
tane o make to wa
I did not tell you:
My aged home’s
Fond ferns
To think so lightly of
That you scatter seeds about!

Lord Sada’ie
1031

Right
ながめする心の根より生ひそめて軒の忍ぶは茂る成るべし

nagamesuru
kokoro no ne yori
oisomete
noki no shinobu wa
shigerunarubeshi
Consoled,
My heart’s depths
Have grown old, as
Beneath my eaves the ferns
Have grown thick, indeed.

Nobusada
1032

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of sowing seeds beneath eaves? The Left, in appeal: why not compose a poem in this manner, given ‘even the grass seeds, forgotten’? The Left state: this seems little different from Toshiyori’s poem, ‘Beneath the eaves, my thoughts run wild / As the growing plants…’ (omoinoki yori ouru narikeri).

In judgement: both poems refer to ferns, and the conception of ‘my aged home’ (wa ga mi furuya no) and ‘my heart’s depths’ (kokoro no ne yori) both sound suitable. I make this a tie.

Love VIII: 5

Left
人待ちし庭の淺茅生茂りあひて心にならす道芝の露

hito machishi
niwa no asajū
shigeriaite
kokoro ni narasu
michishiba no tsuyu
Awaiting him,
The cogon-grass in my garden
Has grown lush, indeed;
And I have taken to my heart
The dew that falls upon my lawn!

A Servant Girl
1029

Right (Win)
秋風になびく淺茅の色よりもかはるは人の心なりけり

akikaze ni
nabiku asaji no
iro yori mo
kawaru wa hito no
kokoro narikeri
With the autumn wind
Waves the cogon grass,
Colours
Changing less than her
Heart’s passions…

Ietaka
1030

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the intial part of the Right’s poem is derived from an old poem, and so does the end!

In judgement: I wonder whether the cogon-grass (asajū), mentioned initially, is as clearly conceived as the ‘lawn’ (michishiba) mentioned at the end? The Right’s poem refers to ‘So full are my thoughts,  what am I to do? With the autumn wind’, but reverses the beginning and end of that poem; it is extremely old-fashioned in style, but pleasant as it is plainly intended to be understood as a variant of its model. Thus, the Right wins over the combination of ‘cogon-grass’ and ‘lawn’.

Love VIII: 4

Left (Tie)
ももよ草百夜までなど頼めけむかりそめ臥しの榻のはしがき

momoyogusa
momoyo made nado
tanomekemu
karisome fushi no
shiji no hashigaki
A hundred nights upon the grass:
After a hundred nights, how
Can I trust we’ll meet?
Fitfully pillowed on
The scratches on my shaft stand…

Kenshō
1027

Right
逢事はいつといぶきの嶺に生ふるさしも絶せぬ思ひなりけり

au koto wa
itsu to ibuki no
mine ni ouru
sashimo taesenu
omoi narikeri
When will our meeting
Come? On Ibuki
Peak grows
Moxa, thus, endlessly
Burning, as do my fires of love.

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office
1028

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: it is difficult to grasp that there is nothing said from ‘when will it come? On Ibuki’ (itsu to ibuki). ‘Moza, thus’ (sashimo) does not fit with the end of the poem.

In judgement: I do wonder about the sound of beginning a poem with momoyogusa. Furthermore, originally, the ‘one hundred nights’ (momoyo) would be placed upon the shaft stand. ‘When on Ibuki grows moxa’ (itsu to ibuki no sashimo), too, just as with Inaba’s pines, places too much stress on the peak. The poems are of the same quality and tie.

Love VIII: 3

Left (Tie)
うち頼む人のけしきの秋風に心の底の萱が下折れ

uchitanomu
hito no keshiki no
akikaze ni
kokoro no soko no
kaya ga shitaore
I did rely on
Him, but now in his look, is
The autumn wind; in
The depths of my heart are
Broken, drooping fronds of silver grass…

Lord Ari’ie
1025

Right
あさましやなどか思のさしも草露も置きあへずはては燃ゆらん

asamashi ya
nado ka omoi no
sashimogusa
tsuyu mo okiaezu
hate wa moyuran
How strange it is!
Why is it that my love’s fires, like
Moxa,
Not completely covered by the dew
Will at the end burst into flame once more?

Jakuren
1026

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: in the Later Collection of Gleanings there is a poem about Ibuki, which uses ‘burst into flame’ (moyu). We wonder about the suitability of using ‘burst into flame’ without also using Ibuki. The Right, in response: older poems used ‘burst entirely into flame’ (sashimoyu), and this composition is the same.

In judgement: I am not accustomed to hearing ‘the depths of my heart are silver grass’ (kokoro no soko no kaya) as in the Left’s poem. The image in the Right’s poem of moxa not completely covered with dew bursting into flame seems rather overblown. The strengths and weaknesses of the two poems are unclear, so the round should tie.