Tag Archives: ato

Love X: 6

Left (Win)
誰となく寄せては返る浪枕浮きたる舟の跡もとどめず

tare to naku
yosete wa kaeru
namimakura
ukitaru fune no
ato mo todomezu
To no one
Cleaving, they return;
Pillowed on the waves
The drifting boats’
Wakes fail to linger long…

A Servant Girl
1151

Right
何方を見ても忍ばむ難波女の浮き寝の跡に消ゆる白浪

izukata o
mitemo shinobamu
naniwame no
ukine no ato ni
kiyuru shiranami
Whither
Should I look in longing?
With a girl from Naniwa
I slept briefly, but her
Wake vanishes among the whitecaps…

Jakuren
1152

Both Left and Right together state: neither poem is bad.

In judgement: both poems seem elegant in configuration and diction, but the Right’s ‘girl from Naniwa’ (naniwame) raises the same issue as ‘diving girl’, only more so – there is not even evidence on this from inclusion in the Collection of Poems to Sing, is there? The Left’s ‘cleaving, they return; pillowed on the waves’ (yosete wa kaeru namimakura) really does seem like a pleasure girl, so I must say it is superior.

Love VIII: 22

Left (Win)
唐国の虎臥す野邊に入るよりもまどふ戀路の末ぞあやうき

karakuni no
tora fusu nobe ni
iru yori mo
madou koiji no
sue zo ayauki
In far Cathay are
Meadows where tigers lie,
But rather than entering there,
The confusing paths of love
Are, at the end, more dangerous…

Lord Ari’ie
1063

Right
我宿は人もかれ野の淺茅原通ひし駒の跡もとゞめず

wa ga yado wa
hito mo kareno no
asajiwara
kayoishi koma no
ato mo todomezu
At my home
Is only a withered field
Of cogon grass;
The mount who once did cross it
Has left no lingering tracks…

Ietaka
1064

The Gentlemen of the Right state: how can love be dangerous? The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: saying that the ‘paths of love are, at the end’ (koiji no sue) dangerous is perfectly commonplace. ‘Is only a withered field of cogon grass’ (hito mo kareno no asajiwara) seems to simply have taken the poem ‘Sedge fields lie / Around the estate of Fushimi, / All long overgrown; / He who passed across them / Has left no tracks at all…’ and swapped in ‘mount who once did cross it’ (kayoishi koma). Changing a man into a mount is discomposing, indeed. Again, the Left should win.

Love VII: 27

Left.
かくこそは長柄の橋も絶えしかど柱ばかりは名殘やはなき

kaku koso wa
nagara no hashi mo
taeshikado
hashira bakari wa
nagori ya wa naki
And so it is that
The bridge at Nagara
Has ceased to be, yet
Are there not even pillars
In remembrance of what’s gone?

Lord Ari’ie
1013

Right (Win).
今も猶長柄の橋は作りてんつれなき戀は跡だにもなし

ima mo nao
nagara no hashi wa
tsukuriten
tsurenaki koi wa
ato dani mo nashi
Even now is
The bridge at Nagara
Being built?
Of this cruel love
Not even a trace remains…

Nobusada
1014

The Right state: it is certainly possible to say that the ‘bridge at Nagara’ has ‘rotted’ (kutsu), but there are, we think, no other examples of it ‘ceasing’ (tayu). The Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of saying ‘love not a trace’ (koi ni ato nashi).

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘the bridge at Nagara’ and, as has been mentioned by the Gentlemen of the Right in their criticism, the Left uses ‘has ceased to be, yet’ (taeshikado); there are many poems using ‘rotted’, because this is what happens to the pillars of bridges. After this bridge ceased to be, the pillars would still be rotting away. If you have the bridge ‘being built’ (tsukuru nari), why would you not then have it ‘ceasing’? That being said, I am only accustomed to hearing ‘bridge pillars’ (hashibashira), and having only ‘pillars’ (hashira) sounds completely lacking in logic. The Right’s poem uses ‘love not a trace’ (koi ato nashi): it is entirely natural for a variety of different things not to leave a trace. The current criticism must be due to there not being a prior example of this usage, but it is particularly difficult to say this about the initial section of the poem. The Right wins.

GSS XIV: 1024

When a man who had long visited a woman at the house of the Sugawara Minister, ceased coming for a while, and then came once more.

菅原や伏見の里の荒れしより通ひし人のあともたえにき

sugaFara ya
Fusimi no sato no
aresi yori
kayoFisi Fito no
ato mo taeniki
Sedge fields lie
Around the estate of Fushimi,
All long overgrown;
He who passed across them
Has left no tracks at all…

Anonymous

GSIS XVIII: 1072

Composed at the bridge at Nagara.

橋柱ながらましかば流れての名をこそ聞かめ跡を見ましや

Fasibasira
nagaramasikaba
nagarete no
na wo koso kikame
ato wo mimasi ya
These bridge pillars
Were there not at Nagara,
Should the current of the world
Bring the name to one’s ears,
Would one even see its traces?

Former Major Councillor Kintō
前大納言公任

SIS VIII: 468

Composed to accompany a painting of the few remains of the bridge at Naraga on a folding screen for His Majesty, during the Tenryaku era.

葦間より見ゆる長柄の橋柱昔の跡のしるべなりけり

asima yori
miyuru nagara no
Fasibasira
mukasi no ato no
sirube narikeri
From between the reeds
Can one see at Nagara
The bridge pillars:
A trace from long ago
To guide us now…

Fujiwara no Kiyotada
藤原清正

Winter II: 3

Left (Win).

訪へかしな庭の白雪跡絶えてあはれも深き冬の朝を

toekashi na
niwa no shirayuki
ato taete
aware mo fukaki
fuyu no ashita o
I would go a’calling;
In my garden the white snowfall
Has covered all the tracks;
How deep is my sorrow,
On this winter morning!

Lord Kanemune.

545

Right.

軒のうち雀の聲は馴るれども人こそ知らぬ今朝の白雪

noki no uchi ni
suzume no koe wa
naruredomo
hito koso shiranu
kesa no shirayuki
From underneath the eaves
To the sparrows’ chirps
Have I grown accustomed, yet
No one noticed
This morning’s fall of snow so white…

Nobusada.

545

The Right state that the Left’s initial line makes their poemsound like a reply. In addition, the final line is ‘overly forceful’ [itau tsuyoku]. The Left merely comment that the Right’s use of ‘sparrow’ (suzume) is ‘inappropriate’.

Shunzei’s judgement: Even though the Left’s poem is not a reply, starting with ‘I would go a’calling’ (toekashi na) is common in the reply style [zōtōtei]. In addition, ‘Winter Mornings’ is not a topic which one needs to approach obliquely. There are only the good and bad points of the poetry. ‘From underneath the eaves to the sparrows’ chirps have I grown accustomed’ (noki no uchi ni suzume no koe wa naruru) is not an expression much used about morning snow. However, the final section of the poem appears fine. ‘Sparrows’ chirps’ (suzume no koe) is, perhaps, somewhat colloquial [zoku no chikaku]. Despite the comment by the gentlemen of the Right that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘overly forceful’, it is a better ‘Winter Morning’ poem.