Category Archives: Poetry Competition in Six Hundred Rounds

Love VI: 20

Left.
雨そそき人待つ宵は憂かりけりこやことづけにならんと思へば

ame sosoki
hito matsu yoi wa
ukarikeri
koya kotozuke ni
naran to omoeba
Rain dripping,
The nights awaiting him are
Cruel, indeed;
That is his excuse,
Or so I feel!

Lord Suetsune.
939

Right (Win).
頼めねど絶えず音する時雨かな戀しき人のかゝらましかば

tanomenedo
taezu otosuru
shigure kana
koishiki hito no
kakaramashikaba
I put no trust in you, yet
Ceaselessly, you come to call
O, showers!
I would that the man I love
Would do the same…

Lord Tsune’ie.
940

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

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, while ‘rain dripping’ (ame sosoki) sounds like it should recall Eastern House, there is no clear reason for this, and ‘that is his excuse’ (koya kotozuke) would also seem to refer to ‘“In the land of Tsu / Come on”’ (tsu no kuni no / koya). ‘Rain dripping’, though, does not link to this, I think. While the Right’s poem may be pedestrian, it certainly should win.

Love VI: 19

Left.
下とをる涙に袖も朽ちはてゝ着るかひもなき雨衣かな

shita tōru
namida ni sode mo
kuchihatete
kiru kai mo naki
amagoromo kana
Right through to below
With tears are even my sleeves
Quite rotted;
Putting it on would be pointless
This raincoat of mine!

Kenshō.
937

Right (Win).
戀ゆへに身を知る雨の年を經て心のうちにかき曇るらむ

koi yue ni
mi o shiru ame no
toshi o hete
kokoro no uchi ni
kakikumoruramu
For love
The rain knows how I feel full well
Down through the years
Within my heart
The clouds grow ever thicker…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office.
938

The Right state: the Left’s ‘right through to below’ (shita tōruʼ) sounds as if the poet is passing below the palace! The Left state: in this poem it is not at all clear why it is that ‘the rain knows how I feel full well’ (mi o shiru ame).

In judgement: the Left, by using ‘right through to below’, has forgotten that ‘raincoat’ (amagoromo) evokes the sense of a salt-hut and, because there is nothing in the poem to suggest a location by the sea, amagoromo appears to be the clothing of a nun, or something similar. As for the Right’s ‘the rain knows how I feel full well’, it is simply ‘for love’. This seems plain to me. The Right wins.

Love VI: 18

Left (Win).
さらでだに恨みんと思ふ我妹子が衣の裾に秋風ぞ吹く

sarade dani
uramin to omou
wagimoko ga
koromo no suso ni
akikaze zo fuku
That is not it, yet even so,
I do think to hate
My darling girl,
Her robe hem
Blown by the autumn wind…

Lord Ari’ie.
935

Right.
いかなれば露をば払ふ風の音に物思ふ袖の濡れまさるらん

ika nareba
tsuyu o harau
kaze no oto ni
mono’omou sode no
nuremasaruran
For some reason
Dewdrops blown by
The wind – the mere sound
Brings to my gloomy sleeves
A dampness most extreme…

Jakuren.
936

The Right state: the Left’s poem is most admirable. The Left state: the Right’s poem is definitely not!

In judgement: to give the gist of the comments by the Gentlemen of the Left and the Right, the Left’s poem is admirable, and the Right’s poem is not admirable at all. I see no need to make much more of this round that that, so, the Left wins.

Love VI: 17

Left.
いつも聞く物とや人の思らむ來ぬ夕暮れの秋風の聲

itsumo kiku
mono to ya hito no
omouramu
konu yūgure no
akikaze no koe
Always do I hear
The same, is that what
He thinks?
This evening, when he has not come
Whispers the autumn wind.

A Servant Girl.
933

Right (Win).
心あらば吹かずもあらなん宵宵に人待つ宿の庭の松風

kokoro araba
fukazu mo aranan
yoiyoi ni
hito matsu yado no
niwa no matsukaze
If you have any pity,
Then I would not have you blow
Night after night
While I wait for him, through my home’s
Garden pines, o, wind!

Nobusada.
934

Both Left and Right state: we can grasp the sense of the opposing poem.

In judgement: I am unable to tell what it is that ‘does not come one evening’ (konu yūgure). ‘Whispers the autumn wind’ (akikaze no koe) is also perhaps rather novel. The Right’s ‘Garden pines, o, wind!’ (niwa no matsukaze) sounds pleasant. It should win.

Love VI: 16

Left (Tie).
知らざりし夜深き風の音も似ず手枕うとき秋のこなたは

shirazarishi
yo fukaki kaze no
oto mo nizu
tamakura utoki
aki no konata wa
I did not know
The in the depths of night, the wind
Would not sound the same;
No longer pillowed on your arm
Since you tired of me this autumn…

Lord Sada’ie.
931

Right.
物思ふ身とならはしの荻の葉にいたく吹そ秋の夕風

mono’omou
mi to narawashi no
ogi no ha ni
itaku fuki so
aki no yūkaze
To gloomy thought
I am so used that
Through the bush clover leaves
I would you’d not blow so hard,
O, evening autumn wind!

Ietaka.
932

Both Left and Right together state: we fail to grasp the sense of the other team’s poem.

In judgement: the gentlemen of both Left and Right have said they fail to understand the opposing poem. I do not feel it would be acceptable for me to arbitrarily provide one. The round should tie.

Love VI: 15

Left.
心あひの風いづかたへ吹かぬらん我には散らす言の葉もなし

kokoro ai no
kaze izukata e
fukanuran
ware ni wa chirasu
koto no ha mo nashi
This pleasant
Breeze: whither
Does it blow?
To me not one scattered
Leaf or word has it delivered.

Kenshō.
929

Right (Win).
色に出し言の葉もみなかれはてゝ涙を散らす風の音哉

iro ni idashi
koto no ha mo mina
karehatete
namida o chirasu
kaze no oto kana
The bright hues of passion
In these leaves and your words
Have all withered away;
Tears scattering with
The sound of the wind…

Lord Takanobu.
930

The Right state: ‘Breeze: whither’ (kaze izukata e) seems lacking. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, I wonder whether ‘breeze: wither’ really is lacking. ‘This pleasant’ (kokoro no ai) would seem to be an expression deriving from ‘At the head of the road’. I seem to recall it coming after ‘In Kofu in Takefu / Will I be’, but that is not a suitable source. The Right’s poem, as the Gentlemen of the Left have said, appears to have no faults. It should win.

Love VI: 14

Left.
ひとり寢の床に吹くる秋風のまた我戀をおどろかす哉

hitorine no
toko ni fukikuru
akikaze no
mata wa ga koi o
odorokasu kana
Sleeping alone
To my bed comes blowing
The autumn wind, and
Again, all my love
Returns…

Lord Kanemune.
927

Right (Win).
つてにだにとはぬ君かな吹風もまつにはことに音する物を

tsute ni dani
towanu kimi kana
fuku kaze mo
matsu ni wa koto ni
otosuru mono o
If only it brought a rumour
Of you, who never comes!
The gusting wind
From the pines plucks special
Sounds…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
928

The Right state: what need is there for ‘again’ (mata) in the Left’s poem? The Left state: the Right’s poem is difficult to recite.

In judgement: the Right’s final ‘from the pines plucks special’ (matsu ni wa koto ni) is fine. It must win.

Love VI: 13

Left.
ひとり寢の憂き身になるゝ秋風をつれなき人の心ともがな

hitorine no
ukimi ni naruru
akikaze o
tsurenaki hito no
kokoro tomo gana
To sleeping alone
In desolation am I accustomed;
O, that the autumn wind were
My cruel love’s
Heart…

Lord Suetsune.
925

Right (Win).
夕まぐれ吹くる秋の初風は戀せぬ人も身にやしむらん

yūmagure
fukikuru aki no
hatsukaze wa
koisenu hito mo
mi ni ya shimuran
In the evening’s dusk
Comes blowing autumn’s
First breeze;
Will one who loves not
Be pierced as am I?

Lord Tsune’ie.
926

Both Left and Right together state: we have nothing we feel we should say.

In judgement: the final section of the Left’s poem is clichéd. I also wonder about the sound of ‘in desolation am I’ (ukimi). The Right’s poem has nothing particularly remarkable about it, but it should win

Love VI: 12

Left (Tie).
君がりと浮きぬる心まよふらん雲はいくへぞ空の通ひ路

kimigari to
ukinuru kokoro
mayouran
kumo wa iku e zo
sora no kayoiji
To your home
Drifts my heart
In seeming confusion;
How may layers must the clouds
Pass though on the heavenly paths?

A Servant Girl.
923

Right.
思やるながめも今は絶えぬとや心をうづむ夕暮の雲

omoiyaru
nagame mo ima wa
taenu to ya
kokoro o uzumu
yūgure no sora
Lost in thought
I gazed at you, but now
Is it that it’s done that
Buries my heart beneath
The evening skies?

Ietaka.
924

The Right state: we would have preferred it to have been ‘is it that my heart drifts?’ (ukinuru kokoro ya). The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks faults.

In judgement: the final sections of both poems seem fine. For strict correctness, the Left should have had ‘my drifting heart does seem confused’ (ukinuru kokoro wa mayourashi), but because this would not fit with the poem, he has left it as ‘in seeming confusion’ (mayouran). The poem is fine as it is, without introducing ‘is it that my heart’ (kokoro ya). I don’t know what to make of the expression ‘to your home’ (kimigari), but ‘how may layers must the clouds pass though on the heavenly paths?’ (kumo wa iku e zo sora no kayoiji) is charming. Then again, the Right’s ‘buries my heart beneath the evening skies?’ (kokoro o uzumu yūgure no sora) has a gentle beauty about it. Thus, the round should tie.

Love VI: 11

Left (Tie).
我戀や晴れゆくままの空の雲よそにのみして消ぬべき哉

wa ga koi ya
hareyuku mama no
sora no kumo
yoso ni nomi shite
kienubeki kana
Is my love
As the clearing
Clouds with within the skies?
While you remain distant
Must I fade away…

Lord Ari’ie.
921

Right.
をのづから閨もる月も影消えてひとりかなしき浮雲の空

onozukara
neya moru tsuki mo
kage kiete
hitori kanashiki
ukigumo no sora
From my
Bedchamber the flooding moon
Light has vanish;
To be alone is sad, as
The heartless drifting, clouds.

Lord Takanobu.
922

The Right state: the central line of the Left’s poem is stiff. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no particular faults.

In judgement: the statements in regard to both poems are at variance with my own opinion. I will refrain from expressing that here, although I do regret that, somewhat. If, indeed, a central line is core, then it is better for it to lack connection with the remainder of the poem. In the case of the Left’s poem, however, it seems well linked with what follows. As for the Right’s poem, ‘bedchamber the flooding moon’ (neya moru tsuki) is not phrasing which is acceptable to me. However, the Left’s initial section seems pleasant, and the Right’s final section is elegant. Thus, the round is a tie.