Category Archives: Poetry Competition in Six Hundred Rounds

Love VII: 4

Left.
年月ぞ思かひなく過にける君をきませの山のふもとに

toshitsuki zo
omou kainaku
suginikeru
kimi o kimase no
yama no fumoto ni
For many years and months
I yearned to no end,
Passing time
Calling you on Kimase
Mountain’s foot.

Lord Suetsune.
967

Right (Win).
吉野山戀のあまりに思入ぬなかなかさらば人や訪ふとて

yoshinoyama
koi no amari ni
omoi’irinu
nakanaka saraba
hito ya tou tote
As Mount Yoshino
Is my love’s extent,
So deeply do I feel it;
But were I to do so,
Perhaps he would visit me there?

Nobusada.
968

Both Right and Left together state the opposing poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, would it really be to no end to pass the time calling on Mount Kimase? The Right’s poem, on Mount Yoshino, has ‘but were I to do so’ (naka saraba), which sounds charming. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VII: 3

Left (Win).
戀ゆへに憂き世を捨て隱れなば忍ぶの山やすみかなるべき

koi yue ni
ukiyo o sutete
kakurenaba
shinobu no yama ya
sumika narubeki
If for love
I should depart this cruel world
And hide myself away,
Would Mount Shinobu
Then become my dwelling?

Lord Kanemune.
965

Right.
夢にだにまだふみも見ぬ忍山深き戀路をいかで尋ん

yume ni dani
mada fumi mo minu
shinobuyama
fukaki koiji o
ikade tazunen
Even in my dreams
Have I yet to tread – or send a note – so why
Do I to Mount Shinobu’s
Deep paths of love
Pay a visit?

Lord Takanobu.
966

Both Left and Right together state there are no faults to indicate in the opposing poem.

In judgement: I do wonder about the Left’s use of ‘and hide myself away’ (kakurenaba), but in addition to the Right’s ‘Have I yet to tread – or send a note’ (mada minu fumi) certainly evoking ‘the paths of Ikuno lie far away’ (ikuno no michi no tōkereba), ‘why to deep paths of love pay a visit’ (fukaki koiji o ikade tazunen), sounds as if the poet is wondering whether his love is shallow or not. The Left should win.

Love VII: 2

Left.
我戀に深さくらへば外山哉吉野の奧の岩のかけ道

wa ga koi ni
fukasa kuraeba
toyama kana
yoshino no oku no
iwa no kakemichi
My love’s
Depth were you to measure,
Distant mountains, perhaps?
As in the heart of Yoshino, where
The craggy paths are overgrown!

Lord Ari’ie.
963

Right (Win).
ふみ見ても馴れぬけしきのつれなさや吉野の奧の岩のかけ道

fumi mitemo
narenu keshiki no
tsurenasa ya
yoshino no oku no
iwa no kakemichi
She read my letter – I treading on paths unknown –
And cared not – an unfamiliar scene –
Is her cruelty
As in the heart of Yoshino, where
The craggy paths are overgrown?

Ietaka.
964

The Right state: in the Left’s poem, the expression ‘distant mountains, perhaps’ (toyama kana) sounds poor. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: both Left and Right have precisely identical sections: ‘as in the heart of Yoshino’ (yoshino no oku) and ‘craggy paths are overgrown’ (iwa no kakemichi), but considering the initial sections, it has already been stated that the Left’s sounds poor, while the Right lacks faults. Thus, in accordance with the remarks by the Gentlemen of both teams, the Right is the winner.

Love VII: 1

Left (Tie).
年を經て茂るなげきをこりもせでなど深からん物思ひの山

toshi o hete
shigeru nageki o
kori mo sede
nado fukakaran
mono’omoi no yama
The years go by and
My ever verdant grief
Is never felled;
Why am I so deep
In mountains of gloomy thought?

Kenshō.
961

Right.
君にわれ深く心を筑波山しげきなげきにこりはてぬ哉

kimi ni ware
fukaku kokoro o
tsukubayama
shigeki nageki ni
korihatenu kana
You for me
Had deep thoughts once –
All gone now, yet on Tsukuba Mountain
My ever verdant grief
Remains unfelled…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
962

The Right state: we are not familiar with the expression ‘mountains of gloomy thought’ (mono’omoi no yama) used in the Left’s poem. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing significant to say.

In judgement: both poems use the wordplay of ‘ever verdant grief’ (shigeki nageki) and a ‘heart unfelled’ (korinu kokoro); they have no particular merits or faults. The round ties.

Love VI: 30

Left (Tie).
奈呉の海士の塩燒く煙空にのみ我名を立てゝやまんとやする

nago no ama no
shio yaku kemuri
sora ni nomi
wa ga na wo tatete
yaman to ya suru
At Nago the fisherfolk’s
Salt-burning smoke fills
The skies; is that all
My names is to be? Gossip
And then the end?

Kenshō.
959

Right.
山田守るかひ屋が下の煙こそこがれもやらぬたぐひなりけれ

yamada moru
kaiya ga shita no
kemuri koso
kogare mo yaranu
tagui narikere
Warding the mountain fields
Beneath the heated hut
The smoke
Smoulders without end –
And so do I!

Jakuren
960

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the usage of ‘beneath the heated hut’ (kaiya ga shita) with ‘warding the mountain fields’ (yamada moru). In reply: in the Man’yōshū ‘heated hut’ (kaiya), is written with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire hut’. In addition, in territories where they wish to drive the deer away from their mountain paddies, they take things which smell foul when burnt, such as hair, and burn them, and in order that the fires are not put out by the rain, they build a roof over them. The common folk of these places call these things ‘heated huts’ (kaiya). So, the Man’yōshū’s usage corresponds with actual practice. Again, a further criticism from the Left: the Master of the Crown Prince’s Household Office composed a poem on salting. Atsutaka also includes ‘heated hut’ in the section on mosquito fires. Such are the ideas of our forebears. That ‘heated hut’ is written in Man’yōshū with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire’ and ‘scented fire’ is no proof of anything. Might it not have been written this way so that it would be read to mean ‘keep’? One certainly cannot sweepingly say that it means ‘deer-repelling fire’. A further response from the Right: our forebears have presented no definite evidence, and so it is difficult to accept this argument. In addition, has it not long been accepted that ‘morning haze’ can be used to refer to the smoke from deer-repelling fires, when composing on the haze spreading? Furthermore, in the Hitomaroshū, there is the poem ‘On Kogane Mountain / Beneath the heated hut / Frogs call’. Thus, it appears that this composition must refer to mountain fields.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘At Nago the fisherfolk’ (nago no ama) links the initial and latter sections of the poem extremely well. There seems to be have been some discussion from both teams about the Right’s ‘beneath the heated hut the smoke’ (kaiya ga shita no kemuri). Prior to the to and fro about this poem, was there not a similar discussion about heated huts in the final section of spring poems about frogs? With the greatest respect, the discussion here seems little different. However, in regard to the Right’s poem, saying that love smoulders is the normal way of expressing matters. I do wonder about ‘smoulders without end’ (kogare mo yaranu), but this would certainly seem appropriate with the reference to a heated hut. The Left, in addition, with ‘salt burning smoke’ (yaku shio kemuri) lacks any faults to indicate, so with no clear winner or loser, I make this round a tie.

 

Love VI: 29

Left (Win).
忍びかね心の空に立つ煙見せばや富士の峰にまがへて

shinobikane
kokoro no sora ni
tatsu kemuri
miseba ya fuji no
mine ni magaete
I can bear no more:
Into the heavens of my heart
Smoke rises;
I would show her it is of Fuji’s
Peak an image!

A Servant Girl.
957

Right.
富士の嶺の煙も猶ぞ立のぼる上なき物は思ひなりけり

fuji no ne no
kemuri mo nao zo
tachinoboru
ue naki mono wa
omoi narikeri
The peak of Fuji:
Smoke yet
Rises there;
Higher than the highest is
My love.

Ietaka.
958

The Right state: we wonder about the meaning of ‘heavens of my heart’ (kokoro no sora). In reply, the Left: this is the same conception as the poem ‘into the heavens of my heart emerges the moon’. In reply, the Right: what is the point in using the smoke from Fuji as a metaphor? It seems as if the focus of the poem is the smoke. Furthermore, why have smoke rising in your heart without the smoke of passion? The Left state: the Right’s poem seems good.

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the competition seems to have sagaciously criticised the faults of the Left’s poem, but ‘I would show her it is of Fuji’s peak an image!’ (miseba ya fuji no mine ni magaete) is charming in configuration and diction. The Right’s poem, too, in the final section is elegant in configuration. However, I must make the Left the winner.

 

Love VI: 28

Left.
限りなき下の思ひの行衛とて燃えん煙のはてや見るべき

kagirinaki
shita no omoi no
yukue tote
moen kemuri no
hate ya mirubeki
Without limit is
My secret love:
Does it lead to
Burning smoke
For her in the end to see?

Lord Sada’ie.
955

Right (Win).
藻塩燒く浦の煙を風に見てなびかぬ人の心をぞ思ふ

moshio yaku
ura no kemuri o
kaze ni mite
nabikanu hito no
kokoro o zo omou
Seaweed salt burning
On the shore, smoke
Sighted in the wind;
No trails from her
Heart to me, alas…

Nobusada.
956

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks smoke. The Left state: saying ‘sighted in the wind’ (kaze ni mite) sounds poor.

In judgement: the poem of the Right, which the Gentlemen of the Left have said ‘sounds poor’, has as its central section ‘sighted in the wind’, which I feel sounds extremely pleasant. The final section also sounds good. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VI: 27

Left (Tie).
憂き人に思ひ消たるる身の程を知らぬは戀の煙也けり

ukibito ni
omoiketaruru
mi no hodo o
shiranu wa koi no
kemuri narikeri
From that cruel one’s
Thoughts, extinguished
I am, all
Unknowing of love’s
Embers smoking.

Lord Kanemune.
953

Right.
昔かく戀する人や富士の嶺の絶えぬ煙と燃えはじめけん

mukashi kaku
koisuru hito ya
fuji no ne no
taenu keburi to
moehajimeken
Long ago, in such
Love did folk as
The peak of Fuji
With everlasting smoke
Begin to burn?

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
954

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘cruel one’ (ukibito) and the Right’s ‘folk in love’ (koisuru hito) should tie.

Love VI: 26

Left (Win).
戀死なんのちを思へば目にぞたつそのゆへもなき空の煙も

koishinan
nochi o omoeba
me ni zo tatsu
sono yue mo naki
sora no keburi mo
I shall die of love, and
When I think on it
What should touch my eyes
But, lacking any meaning,
Smoke rising to the skies…

Lord Ari’ie.
951

Right.
戀ひ死なむ後は煙とあがるとも君が方へぞ猶なびくべき

koishinamu
nochi wa kemuri to
agaru tomo
kimi ga kata e zo
nao nabikubeki
When I have died of love
Then, though as smoke
I may rise,
Still towards you
I shall trail!

Lord Tsune’ie.
952

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the use of ‘rise’ (agaru) in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: both poems have ‘die for love’ (koishinan), and there are no particular features of either which warrant a victory or a loss, but ‘touch my eyes’ (me ni tatsu) seems a little finer than the Right’s ‘rise’ (agaru) ‘towards’ (kata e zo).

Love VI: 25

Left (Tie).
妹が住むとをちの里の煙だになど我方へなびかざるらん

imo ga sumu
tōchi no sato no
kemuri dani
nado wa ga kata e
nabikazaruran
My darling lives
In far distant Tōchi;
Even the smoke,
Somehow, will not
Stream my way…

Lord Suetsune.
949

Right.
つれなさに絶ずなりなん煙をも我ゆへとやはながめゝしもせん

tsurenasa ni
taezu narinan
kemuri o mo
ware yue to ya wa
nagamemeshi mo sen
Her cruelty
I can endure no more!
That the smoke
Is for her sake – will she
Find that consolation? No, surely not!

Lord Takanobu.
950

Both Left and Right together state that their opponent’s poem lacks anything unusual.

In judgement: that ‘far distant Tōchi’s smoke’ (tōchi no sato no kemuri) will not stream my way really has no significance. ‘Her cruelty I can endure no more! That the smoke’ (tsurenasa ni taezu narinan kemuri) must be being used to avoid mentioning dying of love as unpropitious, and certainly lacks clarity of expression. This is clearly insufficient. The round ties.