Category Archives: Poetry Competitions

Love VII: 20

Left (Tie).
身に堪へぬ思ひを須磨の関据ゑて人に心をなどとどむらん

mi ni taenu
omoi o suma no
seki suete
hito ni kokoro ni
nado todomuran
Unable to endure
This love; at Suma
By the barrier am I placed;
Within my heart why
Does she remain so firmly?

Lord Sada’ie
999

Right.
逢坂の関のこなたに名をとめてこれより過ぐる嘆せよとや

ausaka no
seki no konata ni
na o tomete
kore yori suguru
nageki seyo to ya
On Meeting Hill
Barrier’s inner side
Must I stay, they say;
Ever pass your days
In grief! Is that your only message?

Lord Takanobu
1000

The Right state: ‘This love; at Suma’ (omoi o suma) sounds antiquated. In addition, how can one be placed by the barrier? The Left state: in the Right’s poem what is the ‘passing grief’ (suguru nageki)?

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the Right’s criticism of wondering ‘how one can be placed by the barrier’ suggests they have never been installed as Barrier Wardens! Both ‘at Suma by the barrier’ and ‘Meeting Hill Barrier’ are of the same quality. The round should tie.

Love VII: 19

Left.
逢ふ事は苗代水を引き止めて通しはてぬや小山田の關

au koto wa
nawashiro mizu o
hikitomete
tōshihatenu ya
oyamada no seki
Can a meeting, like
The waters round the rice seedlings
Be stopped
In their endless flow
Past the Oyamada Barrier?

Kenshō
997

Right (Win).
衣手は清見が關にあらねども絶ゆるよもなき涙也けり

koromode wa
kiyomi ga seki ni
aranedomo
tayuru yo mo naki
namida narikeri
My sleeves as
The Barrier at Kiyomi
Are not, yet
Without cease
Are my tears…

Lord Tsune’ie.
998

The Right state: we are unfamiliar with the expression ‘Oyamada Barrier’ (oyamada no seki). The Left state: it sounds as if it is tears that are ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is stylistically tasteful, but with only ‘can a meeting, like the waters round the rice seedlings’ (au koto wa nawashiro mizu) the conception of love is weak is it not? The Right’s poem metaphorically has tears ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi, and with the ta present, I accept the Left’s point to a certain extent, but this type of thing is not unusual in metaphorical poems.  In addition, there is little reason to imagine the waters round the rice-seedlings being blocked. As it has a stronger focus on Love, the Right wins.

Dairi no kiku awase 17

Composed when people passed through the chrysanthemums around his cell.
濡れて干す山路の菊の露のまにいつか千歳を我は経にけむ

nurete Fosu
yamazi no kiku no
tuyu no ma ni
ituka titose wo
ware Fa Fenikemu
Drenched, then dry,
Upon the moutain paths, with chrysanthemums
In the gaps between the dewdrops –
Sometimes a thousand years
It seems I have passed by here…

Sosei
17