Category Archives: Poetry Competition in Six Hundred Rounds

Love VII: 10

Left (Tie).
雲井まで續きて見ゆわたつ海の行衛知られぬ物思かな

kumoi made
tsuzukite miyu
wata tsu umi no
yukue shirarenu
mono’omoi kana
Beyond the clouds
My gaze goes on and on;
The endless sea:
What lies beyond is unknown
As my gloomy thoughts…

Lord Suetsune.
979

Right.
伊勢の海の潮瀬にさはぐさざれ石の砕けて物を思ふ比かな

ise no umi no
shiose ni sawagu
sazare’ishi no
kudakete mono o
omou koro kana
The sea at Ise:
Raging rapids with the tides,
Where pebbles
Shatter, gloom
Filling my thoughts these days…

Ietaka.
980

The Right state: the Left’s poem is clichéd. The Left state: the Right’s poem is that of Shigeyuki.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is clichéd, but in addition to this uses ‘goes on and on’ (tsuzukite), which is not something one should say. The Right’s poem is, indeed, overly close to Shigeyuki’s, so both Left and Right poem are deficient and lacking in any element allowing a win.

Love VII: 9

Left (Win).
思ヘどもまだ見ぬ程は滿つ潮に入りぬる磯のためしだになし

omoedomo
mada minu hodo wa
mitsu shio ni
irinuru iso no
tameshi dani nashi
I love her, yet
Have not caught a glimpse;
The rising tide
Flooding the rocky shore –
There’s not even a case of that!

Lord Kanemune.
977

Right.
岩根打つ荒磯浪の高きこそまだよそながら袖は濡るなれ

iwane utsu
ara’iso nami no
takaki koso
mada yosonagara
sode wa nuru nare
Crashing on the crags by
The rocky shore, the waves
Are high, indeed;
Distant, perhaps, but
Still my sleeves are soaked…

Lord Takanobu.
978

Both Left and Right state that the opposing poem lacks a strong conception of the sea.

In judgement: I wonder whether the suggestion by both Left and Right that the poems lack a strong conception of the sea is correct. The Left has ‘the rising tide flooding the rocky shore’ (mitsu shio ni irinuru iso), while the Right has ‘crashing on the crags by the rocky shore’ (iwane utsu ara’iso). If these expressions do not strongly convey the conception of the sea, then I ask you, what would? I wonder, though, how one’s sleeves can get soaked if the waves, though high, are distant. The final section of the Left’s poem is elegant. It wins.

Love VII: 8

Left (Tie).
わたの原沖つ潮風に立つ浪の寄り來やかかる汀なりとも

wata no hara
oki tsu nami ni
tatsu nami no
yoriko ya kakaru
migiwa naritomo
Across the broad sea sweep,
The waves from the offing,
The breakers:
So I would have you come to me,
Though I be such a shore…

Lord Ari’ie.
975

Right.
わたの原深き契りや渚なるかたし貝ともなりにける哉

wata no hara
fukaki ya chigiri
nagisa naru
katashigai tomo
narinikeru kana
The broad sea sweep’s
Depths: did our vow match them?
Upon the beach lie
Single seashells:
That is what we have become!

Lord Tsune’ie.
976

The Right state: we are unable to appreciate the Left’s poem. The Left state: as are we the Right’s poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem would seem to be an improved example of a poem in the style of the previous round. That being said, the waves wouldn’t not come, would they? And, what is the point in addressing them so? The Right’s poem has an extremely flippant final section. The poems are comparable and should tie.

Love VII: 7

Left.
鯨取るさかしき海の底までも君だに住まば浪路しのがん

kujira toru
sakashiki umi no
soko made mo
kimi dani sumaba
namij shinoga
The whale-hunting
Savage sea’s
Depths: even there,
Should it be your dwelling,
Would I endure the waves…

Kenshō.
973

Right (Win).
石見潟千尋の底もたとふれば淺き瀬になる身の恨かな

iwamigata
chihiro no soko mo
tatoureba
asaki se ni naru
mi o urami kana
Iwamigata:
Your thousand fathom depths
I take as
A shallow shoal
For my despite.

Jakuren.
974

The Right state:  the Left’s poem leaves a fearsome impression, does it not? The Left state: we find no fault with the Right’s poem.

In judgement: The Left’s ‘whale hunting’ (kujira toran) I remember occurring in the Man’yōshū, but among many of that collection’s oddly-styled poems. However, it does sound extremely fearsome. When Emperor Qin Shihuang sought Mount Penglai, although he said to ‘shoot’ (iyo) great fish, I have not heard that he went so far as to ‘hunt’ (tore) them. Generally speaking, poems should evoke delicacy and charm, and what purpose is served, for the way of poetry, or for the individual, by frightening people deliberately? The Right’s Iwamigata and ‘For my despite’ (mi no urami kana) recalls an official complaining over being passed over for promotion. However, I cannot accept the Left’s poem. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VII: 6

Left (Tie).
足引の山路の秋になる袖はうつろふ人のあらしなりけり

ashihiki no
yamaji no aki ni
naru sode wa
utsurou hito no
arashi narikeri
Leg wearying
Mountain trails in autumn
Have my sleeves become,
For she fades from my life, as
A departing storm…

Lord Sada’ie.
971

Right.
この世には吉野の山の奧にだにありとはつらき人に知られじ

kono yo ni wa
yoshino no yama no
oku ni dani
ari to wa tsuraki
hito ni shirareji
Within this world, were I
In the Yoshino mountains’
Heart, even so
That cruel
One would know it not!

Jakuren.
972

The Right state: the Left’s poem does not refer to a specific mountain – we wonder whether this is acceptable? In addition, ‘in autumn have my sleeves’ (aki ni naru sode) and ‘she…as a storm’ (hito no arashi) is difficult to understand. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: in connection with the criticism made of the Left’s poem, I do not feel that it is always essential to refer to a specific mountain. The other matters are, indeed, difficult to understand. The underlying sense of the Right’s poem seems overly pretentious. It is reminiscent of the tales of Boyi and Shuqi, or of Jie Zhitui, and Mount Shouyang and Mount Mian. Really, it does put me in mind of the Four White-Headed Recluses of Mount Shang, where it says, ‘They emerged due to the plans of Zhang Liang, made for Huidi, who said, “Though I may lie down with the greybeards, enjoying Mount Shang myself, all, in the end, are people under Zhang Liang.”’ It is extremely difficult, in the end, to make these sentiments relevant to our own land. Thus, I find it inappropriate to accept the content of the Right’s poem. The Left’s poem has its faults, too, so cursorily, I make this round a tie.

Love VII: 5

Left (Win).
末の松待つ夜幾度過ぬらん山超す浪を袖にまかせて

sue no matsu
matsu yo ikutabi
suginuran
yama kosu nami o
sode ni makasete
At the pines of Sué
How many nights have I spent
Pining for him?
As the waves break over the mountain
So let them on my sleeves…

A Servant Girl.
969

Right.
人知れず君に心を筑波山ひまなきものはなげき也けり

hito shirezu
kimi ni kokoro o
tsukubayama
himanaki mono wa
nageki narikeri
Secretly
For you has my heart
Yearned to exhaustion; as Tsukuba Mountain’s
Close packed trees, endless
Is my grief.

Lord Tsune’ie.
970

The Gentlemen of the Right state: in what way are the the waves ‘allowed’ in ‘let them on my sleeves’ (sode ni makasuru)? The Left state: the Right uses Tsukuba, followed by ‘close packed trees, endless’ (himanaki), and although this does have the same meaning, it would be more customary to use ‘verdant’ (shigeki).

In judgement: although the Left’s  ‘so let them on my sleeves’ (sode ni makasete) sounds somewhat unclear, the Right’s ‘Tsukuba Mountain’s close packed trees, endless’ suggests many layers of reed-thatch, I think. ‘As the waves break over the mountain’ (yama kosu nami) seems to reach greater heights.

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.