Tag Archives: akikaze

GSS VII: 353

From the Poetry Contest held by the Empress Dowager during the reign of the Kanpyō emperor. 花薄そよともすれば秋風の吹くかとぞ聞くひとり寝る夜は

Fanasusuki
soyo tomo sureba
akikaze no
Fuku ka to zo kiku
Fitori nuru yo Fa
When the silver grass fronds
Rustle all together,
I wonder if ‘tis our autumn wind
Blowing that I hear,
Tonight, as I sleep alone…

Ariwara no Muneyana

KKS XIX: 1020

A poem from the Poetry Contest held by the Empress Dowager during the reign of the Kanpyō emperor.

秋風にほころびぬらし藤袴つづりさせてふきりぎりすなく

akikaze ni
Fokorobinurasi
Fudibakama
tudurisasete teFu
kirigirisu naku
With the autumn breeze
Seem to have bloomed and twined
The asters
Bound together by the rasping
Crickets’ cries.[1]

Ariwara no Muneyana


[1] This poem is composed around a dual wordplay, which I have not been able to closely replicate in the translation. Hokorobu is simultaneously both ‘bloom fully’ and ‘thread (a needle)’ while tsuzuru is both ‘sew together’ and an onomatopoeic representation of the sound that a cricket makes.

Love VIII: 5

Left
人待ちし庭の淺茅生茂りあひて心にならす道芝の露

hito machishi
niwa no asajū
shigeriaite
kokoro ni narasu
michishiba no tsuyu
Awaiting him,
The cogon-grass in my garden
Has grown lush, indeed;
And I have taken to my heart
The dew that falls upon my lawn!

A Servant Girl
1029

Right (Win)
秋風になびく淺茅の色よりもかはるは人の心なりけり

akikaze ni
nabiku asaji no
iro yori mo
kawaru wa hito no
kokoro narikeri
With the autumn wind
Waves the cogon grass,
Colours
Changing less than her
Heart’s passions…

Ietaka
1030

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the intial part of the Right’s poem is derived from an old poem, and so does the end!

In judgement: I wonder whether the cogon-grass (asajū), mentioned initially, is as clearly conceived as the ‘lawn’ (michishiba) mentioned at the end? The Right’s poem refers to ‘So full are my thoughts,  what am I to do? With the autumn wind’, but reverses the beginning and end of that poem; it is extremely old-fashioned in style, but pleasant as it is plainly intended to be understood as a variant of its model. Thus, the Right wins over the combination of ‘cogon-grass’ and ‘lawn’.

Love VIII: 3

Left (Tie)
うち頼む人のけしきの秋風に心の底の萱が下折れ

uchitanomu
hito no keshiki no
akikaze ni
kokoro no soko no
kaya ga shitaore
I did rely on
Him, but now in his look, is
The autumn wind; in
The depths of my heart are
Broken, drooping fronds of silver grass…

Lord Ari’ie
1025

Right
あさましやなどか思のさしも草露も置きあへずはては燃ゆらん

asamashi ya
nado ka omoi no
sashimogusa
tsuyu mo okiaezu
hate wa moyuran
How strange it is!
Why is it that my love’s fires, like
Moxa,
Not completely covered by the dew
Will at the end burst into flame once more?

Jakuren
1026

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: in the Later Collection of Gleanings there is a poem about Ibuki, which uses ‘burst into flame’ (moyu). We wonder about the suitability of using ‘burst into flame’ without also using Ibuki. The Right, in response: older poems used ‘burst entirely into flame’ (sashimoyu), and this composition is the same.

In judgement: I am not accustomed to hearing ‘the depths of my heart are silver grass’ (kokoro no soko no kaya) as in the Left’s poem. The image in the Right’s poem of moxa not completely covered with dew bursting into flame seems rather overblown. The strengths and weaknesses of the two poems are unclear, so the round should tie.

Kanpyō no ōntoki kiku awase 8

A chrysanthemum from the beach at Fukiage in the province of Ki.
秋風の吹上に立てる白菊は花かあらぬか波のよするか

akikaze no
Fukiage ni tateru
siragiku Fa
Fana ka aranu ka
nami no yosuru ka
In the autumn breeze
Gusting at Fukiage
Are the white chrysanthemums
Blooms, or are the not, and just
The breaking waves?

The Suga Prime Minister [Sugawara no Michizane]
8

This poem was included in Kokinshū (V:272), where it has a somewhat longer and more explanatory headnote.

Kanpaku naidaijin uta’awase 15-16

The wind across the fields (野風)

Round One

Left

けさみればはぎをみなへしなびかしてやさしの野辺の風のけしきや

kesa mireba
hagi ominaeshi
nabikashite
yasashi no nobe no
kaze no keshiki ya
This morn when I look out
Are the bush clovers and maidenflowers
Waving
Gently in the fields
A vision of wind?

Lord Toshiyori
15

Right (Win)

高円の野路の篠原末騒ぎそそや秋風今日吹きぬなり

takamado no
noji no shinohara
sue sawagi
sosoya akikaze
kyō fukinu nari
In Takamado,
At Shinohara in Noji,
Noisy in the treetops
Rustles the autumn wind
As it blows today.

Lord Mototoshi
16

In the Left’s poem, from the phrase ‘bush clovers and maidenflowers’ (hagi ominaeshi) and to the following ‘gently in the fields’ (yashi no nobe) seem singularly unremarkable. In fact, the diction seems so out of place as to be comic. The Right’s poem has an elevated style and charming diction, so one would think it should win, should it not?

The Gentlemen of the Left: the Right’s poem does use the comically forceful diction ‘rustles’ (sosoya).

In judgement: the Left’s ‘waving’ (nabikashite) is an expression giving the poem an extremely idiosyncratic style. The initial section also appears to be lacking in force. As for the Right’s poem, ‘rustles’ (sosoya) is used by Sone no Yoshitada in his poem ‘rustling, the autumn wind has blown’ (sosoya akikaze fukinu nari),[1] so it is not as if there is not a prior example of usage. Thus, it seems to me that the Right’s poem is superior.


[1]The judge, Fujiwara no Mototoshi, is mistaken here, as the poem he is remembering is by Ōe no Yoshitoki 大江嘉言 and can be found in Shikashū (III: 108). Yoshitada is the author of SKS III: 110, however, so it seems he has simply made a mistaken identification of authorship over two poems which are more or less adjacent to each other in that anthology.