Category Archives: Poetry Competitions

Conclusion

住吉の松はあはれもかけやせむ八十過ぬる和歌の浦波

sumiyoshi no
matsu wa aware mo
kake ya semu
yasoji suginuru
waka no uranami
At Sumiyoshi will
The pines feel compassion
For me?
Spending more than eighty years
Washed by the waves of Waka Bay…

Judge
1201

和歌の浦のしるべとなれる老の浪げに住吉の松も知るらん

waka no ura no
shirube to nareru
oi no nami
geni sumiyoshi no
matsu mo shiruran
To Waka Bay
A guide have you become,
Washed by waves of age;
Truly, at Sumiyoshi
The pines will know that well!

A Servant Girl
1202

Love X: 30

Left
年深き入江の秋の月見ても別惜しまぬ人やかなしき

toshi fukaki
irie no aki no
tsuki mitemo
wakare oshimanu
hito ya kanashiki
Late on in the year
Above the bay one evening,
Glimpsing the moon:
That he cares not at their parting –
Is that a source of sadness?

A Servant Girl
1199

Right (Win)
ともすれば別を知らぬ浪の上にかきなす音をも人は問けり

tomo sureba
wakare o shiranu
nami no ue ni
kakinasu ne o mo
hito wa toikeri
As ever,
In ignorance of our parting,
Upon the waves
The strains I pluck
Bring folk to ask me why…

Ietaka
1200

Both Gentlemen state: the poems are based on ‘The Song of the Lute’ and have no faults to mention.

In judgement: both the Left and the Right are based on ‘The Song of the Lute’ and the Left, beginning with ‘late on in the year’ (toshi fukaki) is pleasant, but ‘that he cares not at their parting’ (wakare oshimanu) and what follows seems rather insufficient, in addition to simply seeming to recall Xunyang River and lack a conception of the poet’s own love. The Right has ‘in ignorance of our parting’ (wakare o shiranu), while ‘bring folk to ask me why’ (hito wa toikeri) also has a slight conception that the lady has not asked why either. Thus, the Right should win.

Love X: 29

Left (Win)
よそにても君をし三輪の市ならば行かふ賤に立もをくれじ

yoso nite mo
kimi o shi miwa no
ichi naraba
yukikau shizu ni
tachi mo okureji
Far away
At Miwa Market
Had I met you,
The peasants going back and forth
Would not be arriving late…

Lord Ari’ie
1197

Right
住わびて世をふる道は知らるとも難波の蘆のかりにだに見ん

sumiwabite
yo o furu michi wa
shiraru tomo
naniwa no ashi no
kari ni dani min
Life is hard, as it is
To make one’s way
I know, yet
At Naniwa the reeds
I reap for a brief glimpse of you…

Jakuren
1198

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem is not bad.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘at Miwa had I met you’ (kimi o shi miwa no) is elegant, but the final section is lacks force. The Right’s reaping reeds at Naniwa has only a faint sense of a merchant. Thus, the Left’s ‘Miwa Market’ (miwa no ichi) wins.

Love X: 28

Left
辰の市や日を待つ賤のそれならばあす知らぬ身にかにかへて逢ははまし

tatsu no ichi ya
hi o matsu shizu no
sore naraba
asu shiranu mi ni
kaete awamashi
For Tatsu market’s
Day, a peasant waits;
If I were he
In ignorance of the day to come
I would trade places – for I would meet you!

Lord Sada’ie
1195

Right (Win)
心ざし阿倍の市路に立つ人は恋に命をかへむとやする

kokorozashi
abe no ichiji ni
tatsu hito wa
koi ni inochi o
kaemu to ya suru
Those feelings –
On the road to Abe Market –
Of someone standing there,
Life for love
Would he exchange, I wonder?

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1196

The Right state: the conclusion of the Left is unacceptable given its beginning. The Left state: there is no natural flow in ‘those feelings – Abe’ (kokorozashi abe).

In judgement: with regard to the Left’s poem, the Gentlemen of the Right have already stated that the conclusion is unacceptable given its beginning. The Right’s poem, too, lacks natural flow in ‘those feelings – Abe’. Furthermore, the Left’s diction of stating ‘if I were he’ (sore naraba) and then ‘I would trade places – for I would meet you!’ (kaete awamashi) sounds rather tense, but ‘life for love’ (koi ni inochi) certainly has impact. Thus, the Right should win.

Love X: 27

Left (Win)
大和路や軽の市女に言問はん逢につらさをいかがかふべき

yamatoji ya
karu no ichime ni
koto towan
au ni tsurasa o
ikaga kaubeki
On the road to Yamato,
At Karu, of a merchant-girl
I do enquire:
For a meeting, this pain
How can I trade?

Lord Suetsune
1193

Right
立ちくらす市女もさこそ歎くらめ心をかへて思ひ知るかな

tachikurasu
ichime mo sakoso
nagekurame
kokoro o kaete
omoishiru kana
All day long
The merchant-girl does also
Seem to grieve;
Trade your heart for hers and
You will know it, too!

Lord Tsune’ie
1194

Left and Right state: ‘merchant-girl’ (ichime) is undesirable.

In judgement: both poems refer to a ‘merchant-girl’, and although there does not seem to be a great deal of stylistic difference between them, the Right’s ‘the merchant-girl does also seem to grieve’ (ichime mo sakoso nagekurame) does not make it make it clear what she is grieving about. While the Left’s ‘at Karu, of a merchant-girl’ (karu no ichime) is overblown, ‘for a meeting, this pain’ (au ni tsurasa) makes this clear. The Left should win.

Love X: 26

Left (Win)
恋しさに逢ことかへむ市もがなつれなき人の心をも見ん

koishisa ni
au koto kaemu
ichi mo gana
tsurenaki hito no
kokoro o mo min
With love to
Meet and trade –
If only there were such a market!
Then that cruel one’s
Heart I might find there!

Lord Kanemune
1191

Right
商人の舟の昔を思ふにも恨みは深き涙なりけり

akibito no
fune no mukashi o
omou ni mo
urami wa fukaki
namida narikeri
On a merchant’s
Boat, in thoughts
Of long ago,
My despair is deep
As my tears.

Nobusada
1192

The Right state: while the Left’s poem refers to a market, it has no merchant. The Left state: ‘a merchant’s boat’ (akibito no fune) is punted, and the lute is plucked.

In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, the Gentlemen of the Right’s criticism is that ‘it refers to a market but has no merchant’. ‘With love to meet and trade’ (koishisa ni au koto kaemu) – that suggests a merchant. There is no cause to look elsewhere for an entirely different one! With regard to the Right’s poem, the Left have their own criticism that ‘a merchant’s boat is punted, and a lute is plucked.’ This is, indeed, a most amusing form of words, but I wonder if such levity is appropriate. This poem sounds as if a merchant’s customer is on board his boat, thinking of the past, and listening to the merchant’s wife play the lute. However, while the playing of the lute long ago is evoked, the conception of today’s love lacks clarity. The Left’s poem should win.

Love X: 25

Left
あひそめて後は飾磨の市にても夜がれがちをばかへじとぞ思ふ

aisomete
nochi wa shikama no
ichi nite mo
yogaregachi o ba
kaeji to zo omou
First dyed with indigo, and flushed with love,
Then to Shikama
Market as
Night’s dark cloth, only occasionally
Will he return I fear…

Kenshō
1189

Right (Win)
尋ばやほのかに三輪の市に出て命にかふるしるしありやと

tazuneba ya
honoka ni miwa no
ichi ni iedete
inochi ni kauru
shirushi ari ya to
I would pay a visit to one
I briefly glimpsed at Miwa
Market – leaving
My life I would exchange
Were there to be a sign from her?

Lord Takanobu
1190

The Right state: both of the latter sections of the Left’s poem are extremely informal. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults, but we do wonder about the appropriateness of ‘exchange for a sign’ (kauru shirushi).

In judgement: ‘first dyed with indigo’ (aisomete), ‘Shikama Market’ (shikama no ichi) and ‘night’s dark cloth’ (yogaregachi) – all of these sound evocative. Following ‘I briefly glimpsed at Miwa Market’ (honoka ni miwa no ichi) with ‘exchange’ (kauru) sounds rather abrupt, but saying, ‘were there to be a sign’ (shirushi ari ya) at Miwa Market does not sound pointless. Generally speaking, on the Way of Poetry, poems whose conception is plainly expressed do not consider their diction, while poems which place weight upon their diction lack a clear conception. Poems which attempt to fully express their configuration are often at variance from the topic – all this is well known. The Left’s poem has a poor final section. The Right wins.

Love X: 24

Left (Win)
山深み歎きこる男のをのれのみ苦しくまどふ恋の道かな

yama fukami
nageki koru o no
onore nomi
kurushiku madou
koi no michi kana
Deep within the mountains
Felling trees, a woodsman’s
Axe, my grief
Leaves me in pained confusion
On the paths of love…

Lord Sada’ie
1187

Right
山人の帰る家路を思ふにも逢はぬ歎きぞ休むまもなき

yamabito no
kaeru ieji o
omou ni mo
awanu nageki zo
yasumu ma mo naki
A mountain man,
Homeward bound,
Is in my thoughts, but
Unable to meet with you grief
Gives me no respite.

Ietaka
1188

Left and Right together state: no faults to mention.

In judgement: the Left has a profound conception of love. The Right’s ‘homeward bound’ (kaeru ieji) and ‘unable to meet with you grief’ (awanu nageki) are extremely difficult to grasp, I think. The Left should win.

Love X: 23

Left (Tie)
我恋はしげきみ山の山人のさすがにえしもこりはてぬ哉

wa ga koi wa
shigeki miyama no
yamabito no
sasuga ni e shimo
korihatenu kana
My love is
Lush as a tree in the mountains’ heart;
The mountain men with
Their hatchets cannot even
Begin to fell it!

Ari’ie
1185

Right
秋かけてつま木こり積む山人ももゆる思の程は知らじな

aki kakete
tsumagi koritsumu
yamabito mo
moyuru omoi no
hodo wa shiraji na
Into autumn
Gathering piles of kindling
Even a mountain man,
The burning fires of my passion
Can hardly know…

Jakuren
1186

The Right state: in the Left’s poem, ‘hatchets’ (sasuga) fails to match properly. The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks faults to indicate.

In judgement: indeed, in the Left’s poem ‘hatchets’ does not sound like it matches properly. The Right’s poem has the initial ‘into autumn’ (aki kakete), but the conception of autumn does not sound necessary here. They are of the same quality.

Love X: 22

Left (Win)
斧の柄を何かあやしと思けんしばしの恋も袖は朽ちけり

ono no e o
nani ka ayashi to
omoiken
shibashi no koi mo
sode wa kuchikeri
An axe haft –
What is there strange in that
I wonder?
For with this brief love
My sleeves have rotted…

Kenshō
1183

Right
あさましや心をしほる山人も身におふ程の歎きをぞこる

asamashi ya
kokoro o shioru
yamabito mo
mi ni ou hodo no
nageki o zo koru
How surprising!
Heartbroken
A woodcutter, too,
Is burdened by
The tree of grief he fells…

Lord Takanobu
1184

Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: For the Left, I wonder how long a ‘brief love’ (shibashi no koi) lasts? For one’s sleeves to have rotted, surely a certain amount of time must have passed, but in configuration the poem is certainly elegant. The Right’s woodcutter (yamabito) sounds like he is saying rather too much about himself. The Left should win.