Tag Archives: autumn leaves

Winter I: 6

Left (Tie).

散果てん木葉の音を殘しても色こそなけれ嶺の松風

chirihaten
ko no ha no oto o
nokoshitemo
iro koso nakere
mine no matsukaze
Completely scattered
Are the leaves, but the sound
Remains
Lacking only the hue
As the wind blows through the pines on the peak.

A Servant Girl.

491

Right.

時雨ゆく松の緑は空晴て嵐にくもる峰の紅葉葉

shigure yuku
matsu no midori wa
sora harete
arashi ni kumoru
mine no momijiba
Is drizzle falling
On the pines so green?
The skies are clear,
Clouded only by a storm
Of scarlet leaves from the peaks…

Jakuren.

492

The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left state that they find the Right’s poem, ‘difficult to grasp’. In reply, the Right say, ‘It is conceived after a Chinese poem that “the wind in the pines is the sound of rain”.’

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem is excellent in both configuration and diction [sugata kotoba yoroshiku haberumere]. The Right’s ‘clouded only by a storm’ (arashi ni kumoru) sounds charming in conception [kokoro okashiku kikoyu] – even without drawing upon the Chinese model. In this round, too, there is no clear winner or loser and it must tie.

Winter I: 5

Left.

はかなしや浮きたる風に誘はれていづち生田の杜の木葉ぞ

hakanashi ya
ukitaru kaze ni
sasowarete
izuchi ikuta no
mori no konoha zo
How fleeting!
The fickle wind
Beckons, but
Where does Ikuta’s
Sacred grove send its leaves?

Lord Suetsune.

489

Right.

惜しみかね嶺の紅葉に染置きし心の色も散り果てにけり

oshimikane
mine no momiji ni
someokishi
kokoro no iro mo
chirihatenikeri
I cannot regret, that
Scarlet leaves from on the peak
Have laid a stain
Upon the hues within my heart
And scattered them all over!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

490

The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem. The Left wonder whether the use of ‘I cannot regret’ (oshimikane) implies that the poet feels nothing prior to that.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s final section is elegant [yū ni haberu], but although I have heard of many different types of wind, I have no recollection of any familiarity [kikinarete mo oboehaberane] with a ‘fickle wind’ (ukitaru kaze). While I feel the Right’s poem has no particular faults, the initial ‘I cannot regret’ (oshimikane) does not seem to fit will with what follows. The poems are alike and the round must tie.

Winter I: 3

Left.

かつ惜しむ眺めも移る庭の色よ何を梢の冬に殘さん

katsuoshimu
nagame mo utsuru
niwa no iro yo
nani o kozue no
fuyu ni nokosan
A slight regret I feel, as
My gaze shifts
With the garden’s hues;
What of the treetops
Will remain in winter?

Lord Sada’ie.

485

Right.

散り積もる紅葉かき分來て見れば色さへ深き山路なりけり

chiritsumoru
momiji kakiwake
kitemireba
iro sae fukaki
yamaji narikeri
Fallen in drifts,
Forging through the scarlet leaves
I come, and see
The depth of colour laid
Upon the mountain paths.

Lord Takanobu.

486

The Right state that the Left’s poem is lacking in conception [kokoro yukazu]. The Left respond that the Right’s poem, as in the previous round, is old-fashioned in both conception and diction [kokoro kotoba onaji yō ni furumekashi].

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem does seem to have some conception about it, despite the Right’s criticism of this as lacking. Although the Right’s ‘depths of colour’ (iro sae fukaki) appears easy to grasp, again, the round should tie.

Winter I: 2

Left.

いかばかり散積もればか大井河流れもやらぬ紅葉なるらむ

ika bakari
chiritsumoreba ka
ōikawa
nagare mo yaranu
momiji naruramu
How many
Have fallen altogether upon
Ōi River?
That its flow is stopped
With scarlet leaves…

Kanemune.

483

Right.

紅に關の小川は成にけり音羽の山に紅葉散るらし

kurenai ni
seki no ogawa wa
narinikeri
otowa no yama ni
momiji chirurashi
Scarlet
Has the stream by the barrier
Become.
On Otowa Mountain
The leaves must be falling…

Lord Tsune’ie.

484

The Right state that the Left’s use of –ba ka is grating on the ear [kikinikushi], and query whether saying the ‘flow is stopped’ (nagare mo yaranu) is appropriate. The Left simply say the Right’s poem ‘seems old-fashioned’ [furumekashi].

Shunzei’s judgement: The diction used in the Left’s poem, -ba ka, is simply old-fashioned, and the Right’s criticism is misplaced [sama de arubekarazu]. In addition, I am dubious of their criticism of the latter part of the poem. A somewhat pretentious use of ‘falling leaves’, perhaps? In the Right’s poem, it is inappropriate to combine ‘Otowa Mountain’, ‘stream by the barrier’ and –rashi [because it is an archaic word]. It certainly does not resemble, for example, ‘Mountain dwellings of the gods scarlet leaves look to be falling’ (mimuro no yama ni momiji chirurashi). In addition, ‘Scarlet has the stream by the barrier become’, would mean an excessive fall of leaves, indeed! The Left’s ba ka should win.

Autumn III: 19

Left.

女郎花まだきに霜をいたゞきて盛り過ぬる氣色なる哉

ominaeshi
madaki ni shimo o
itadakite
morisuginuru
keshiki naru kana
Upon the maidenflowers
Already has frost
Fallen, so
Past their prime
They look, indeed!

Lord Suetsune.

457

Right (Win).

もみぢ葉はをのが染たるいろぞかしよそげに置ける今朝の霜かな

momijiba wa
ono ga sometaru
iro zo kashi
yosoge ni okeru
kesa no shimo kana
The autumn leaves –
‘Tis you have stained
Them with your hue!
Indifferently falling
Frost-flakes in the morning…

Nobusada.

458

The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem this round. The Left wonder about the appropriateness of ‘indifferently falling’ (yosoge ni okeru).

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left saying that on ‘maidenflowers frost falling’ (ominaeshi shimo o itadaki) would put them past their prime seems pointless [sada ni oyobazaru ka]. In addition the final ‘they look, indeed’ (keshiki naru kana) seems feeble [chikara naki]. The Right’s style is intriguing [fūtei kyō arite]. I must make it the winner.

Autumn III: 7

Left (Win).

舟止めぬ人はあらじな泉川柞の杜に紅葉しつれば

funa tomenu
hito wa araji na
izumigawa
hahaso no mori ni
momiji shitsureba
Not pausing the boat –
No one would when
Izumi River
By the oak grove’s
Scarlet leaves is stained…

Lord Kanemune.

433

Right.

柞原染むる時雨もある物をしばしな吹きそ木枯らしの風

hahasowara
somuru shigure mo
aru mono o
shibashi na fuki so
kogarashi no kaze
The oak trees are being
Stained by showers
And so
For just a while blow not,
O, withering wind!

Lord Tsune’ie.

434

As the previous round.

Shunzei’s judgement: The style [fūtei] of both poems is such that neither has an particular points worth criticising, or praising either. However, the Right’s ‘blow not’ (na fuki so) seems insufficient. The Left wins.

Autumn III: 4

Left (Win).

色變へぬ松の緑に這ふ蔦はをのが紅葉を譲る也けり

iro kaenu
matsu no midori ni
hau tsuta wa
ono ga momiji o
yuzuru narikeri
The unchanging hue of
The pine tree’s green,
Entwined with ivy:
Its own scarlet leaves
It has surrendered…

Lord Kanemune.

427

Right.

色變へぬ松の緑もなかりけりかゝれる蔦や紅葉しつらん

iro kaenu
matsu no midori mo
nakarikeri
kakareru tsuta ya
momiji shitsuran
The unchanging hue of
The pine tree’s green, too,
Has gone:
Has the festooning ivy
Turned scarlet?

Lord Tsune’ie.

428

The Right wonder about the appropriateness of ‘green entwined’ (midori ni hau), adding that ‘entwined with ivy’ (hau tsuta) also sounds unpleasant [kikiyokarazu]. The Left simply say that the Right’s poem is plainly pedestrian [rei no tsune no koto nari], but have no other criticisms.
Shunzei’s judgement: Although both Left and Right begin with ‘unchanging hue’ (iro kaenu) and there is little to distinguish between them, the Left’s ‘its own scarlet leaves’ (ono ga momiji o) is charmingly poetic style [okashikarubeki yō no fūtei nari]. The Right’s ‘festooning ivy’ (kakareru tsuta) appears as if the poet cannot distinguish between the two plants, which is foolish [orokanarubeshi]. What is there to the criticism of ‘entwined with ivy’? Thus, the Left wins.

Autumn III: 3

Left.

下枝までかゝれる蔦は紅葉して錦を張るは和田の笠松

shizue made
kakareru tsuta wa
momijishite
nishiki o haru wa
wada no kasamatsu
The lowest branches
All festooned with ivy
Turning scarlet,
All in brocade are
The parasol pines at Wada.

Lord Suetsune.

425

Right (Win).

絶え間なくかゝれる蔦の色づけば紅葉を囲ふ墻根とぞみる

taema naku
kakareru tsuta no
irozukeba
momiji o kakou
kakine to zo miru
There’s not a break
In the festooning ivy,
Taking on its hue:
Enveloped with scarlet leaves
Fenced around, it seems…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

426

The Right state that the initial line in the Left’s poem, ‘the lowest branches’ (shizue made), fail to connect with the poem’s conclusion. The Left state that the Right’s poem is ‘pedestrian’ [tsune no koto], but have no other criticisms.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on ‘ivy’, with the Left referring to parasol pines covered in brocade, and the Right a fence joined with scarlet leaves. In conception, neither is unpleasant [kokoro, onoono, okashikarazaru ni arazu]. However, the final section of the Left’s poem is seems to be particularly lacking in poetic qualities [kotoni utashina naki ni nitari]. It would have been better had the Right avoided the artifice of the Left’s festooned parasols [kasahari nado wa sede] and simply mentioned ‘a fence, seemingly surrounded with scarlet leaves’ [momiji o kakouran kakine]. Nevertheless, it should win.

Autumn III: 1

Left.

常盤の茂みを染むる蔦の色のかゝらざりさば下紅葉やは

tokiwa no
shigemi o somuru
tsuta no iro no
kakarazarisaba
shita momiji ya wa
The evergreen
Profusion is dyed
By the ivy’s hues:
Were it not,
Would not the under-leaves turn scarlet?

Lord Ari’ie.

421

Right.

散ぬより紅葉に辿る山路かな岩根の蔦や色變るらむ

chiranu yori
momiji ni tadoru
yamaji kana
iwane no tsuta ya
iro kawaruramu
Not yet fallen are
The scarlet leaves – to track
Along the mountain paths,
Does the ivy at the rooted crags
Change its hue?

Ietaka.

422

The Right state that by continuing with ‘Profusion is dyed’ (shigemi o somuru) it sounds as if it is the evergreens themselves which are taking on autumn colours. The Left merely remark that saying ‘track’ (tadoru) is difficult to comprehend [kokoroegatashi].

Shunzei’s judgement: Is the Left’s poem that bad [ashiku ya wa], given that ‘Profusion is dyed’ is followed by ‘the ivy’s hues’ (tsuta no iro no)? The final section, though, is lacking and seems rather vague. I, too, wonder about the use of ‘track’. The round ties.

Summer I: 5

Left (Win).

わが宿の庭こそ暗くなりにけれ楢の廣葉の陰やそふらん

wa ga yado no
niwa koso kuraku
narinikere
nara no hiroha no
kage ya souran
My lodging’s
Garden much darker
Has become;
Have the broad-leaved oaks
Laid shadows down?

Lord Kanemune.

189

Right.

紅葉ゆへ植へし梢のあさみどり色には秋を思ふのみかは

momiji yue
ueshi kozue no
asamidori
iro ni wa aki o
omou nomi ka wa
For scarlet leaves
I planted trees – tops now
Pale green;
For the hues of autumn
Alone I hope no longer.

Ietaka.

190

The Right state bluntly, ‘Using ‘darker’ (kuraku) in this poem is highly vulgar!’ But the Left snap back, ‘Composing with “darker” is completely commonplace.’ They have no comments to make about the Right’s poem.

Shunzei remarks, ‘The Left’s “garden much darker” (niwa koso kuraku) has nothing problematic about it. “Broad-leaved oaks” (nara no hiroha), although a commonplace expression, is undesirable here. The purport of the Right’s “for the hues of autumn” (iro ni wa aki o) seems rather contrived, yet one wonders if “scarlet leaves” (momiji yue) might not be concealed beneath the “broad-leaved oaks”! The Left’s poem, being more unaffected, wins.’