Composed on morning haze for the Poetry Contest at the Residence of the Kyōgoku Regent.
haru no yo no oborozukiyo ya kore naramu kasumi ni kumoru ariake no sora Is a spring night’s Misty moon This I see? Haze is clouding The dawning sky.
Tango, in service to Empress Gishūmon’in
From the Poetry Contest in Fifteen Hundred Rounds.
ima wa tote haru no ariake ni chiru hana ya tsuki ni mo oshiki mine no shirakumo Is now the time—that In the spring dawn With the blossom scattering The moon, too, regrets leaving The white clouds round the peaks?
Sanuki from the Nijō Palace
hana no iro wa kasumi no hima ni honomiete yama no ha niou haru no akebono The blossoms’ hues Between the shifting haze I briefly glimpse, and The mountains’ edges glow With the dawn in springtime.
adashiyo no hana ni toki kite yuku kari no nagori mo itdodo ariake no sora To fleeting night’s Blossoms has the time come, and The departing geese leave A keepsake more brief In the skies at dawn.
This round, again, it seems difficult to distinguish between the the two poems.
Former Emperor Gosukō (1372-1456)
aki no yo no ariake ni miredo hisakata no tsuki no katsura wa utsurouwanu kana An autumn night’s Dawn I see, yet The eternal Moon’s silver trees Show no sign of fading!
aki hagi no hana saku koro no shiratsuyu wa shitaba no tame to wakite okubeshi In autumn, the bush clover Flowers bloom—just then Silver dewdrops For the under-leaves Do fall, marking every one.
akikaze wa inaba mo soyo to fukitsumeri kari miru hodo to nari ya shinuran The autumn breeze Seems to rustle the rice stalks As it blows; Seeing if ‘tis time to reap them— Is that what it is, I wonder?
ama no kawa towataru fune wa hanasusuki ho ni izuru hodo zo kage mo miyubeki Across the River of Heaven A boat goes ferrying: When the silver grass Ears burst into bloom, Can its shape be seen.
ominaeshi saga no hana oba iro nagara aki o sakari to iwarezu mogana Maidenflowers: Blossoms from Saga Reveal their hues, and In autumn are most fine—that Goes without saying!
saoshika no asa tatsu kiri ni urifuyama mine no kozue wa iro kokarikeri Stags Within the rising morning mist on Urifu Moutain, where The treetops on the peak Have taken darker hues.
Love Waiting for Someone 待人恋
ima komu to tanomeshi hito no nakariseba nete ariake no tsuki o mimashi ya ‘I’ll be coming now,’ said The one in whom I’ve placed my trust, but He is not here, so Should I to bed and with the dawn Upon the moon rest my gaze?
mishi omokage mo
fuwa no sekiya no
itama moru tsuki Back home
I saw her face, and
It lodges here,
At the Barrier House at Fuwa,
In the moonlight leaking through the boards.
A Servant Girl
suma no sekiya no
ariake no tsuki Loving you,
I will ever gaze,
At the Barrier House at Suma
On the dawntime moon.
The Right state: the Left’s poem is good. The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks any faults to indicate.
In judgement: the Left’s ‘Barrier House at Fuwa’ (
fuwa no sekiya) followed by ‘the moonlight leaking through the boards’ ( itama moru tsuki) is truly charming. In addition, if one wonders why ‘I saw her face’ ( mishi omokage mo) has been used, it is certainly reminiscent of the poem ‘The dawntime moon, too, lodges in the waters clear’, but an improvement on it. It is difficult to say, however, that the Right’s ‘At the Barrier House at Suma on the dawntime moon’ ( suma no sekiya no ariake no tsuki) is in any way inferior.
Composed when he was asked by people in the capital what the moon had been like, when he had returned there, after going to Akashi to gaze upon it, at a time when it was particularly bright.
tuki mo akasi no
nami bakari koso
yoru to miesika The dawntime
Moon’s brightness, with Akashi’s
Simply with the waves
Did seem to draw near with the night…
Taira no Tadamori
sode no ue ni
naruru mo hito no
katami ka wa
ware to yadoseru
aki no yo no tsuki Resting atop my sleeves
Of my love so fond
Are these keepsakes?
Remaining with me, alone
Is the moon this autumn night…
A Servant Girl.
yado no keshiki to
aware to ya
ukimi to tomo ni
ariake no tsuki Living alone,
Is the sight of my home
Alike are we in desolation,
O, dawntime moon!
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks a clear conception of love.
In judgement: the Left’s poem, indeed, has no faults. It should win.
tuki mo simidu ni
koyoFi Fa koezi
aFusaka no seki The dawntime
Moon, too, in the waters clear
This night I will not pass
The Barrier at Meeting Hill.
Fujiwara no Norinaga