Tag Archives: bamboo

Love V: 11

Left (Win).
葉を若みまだふし馴れぬ呉竹のこはしほるべき露の上かは

ha o wakami
mada fushinarenu
kuretake no
ko wa shiorubeki
tsuyu no ue ka wa
Fresh leaved, and
Not yet grown to knots in bed,
A bamboo
Maid: will she draw the
Kindly dew upon her?

Lord Sada’ie.
861

Right.
情なき風に従ふ姫百合は露けきことやならはざるらん

nasakenaki
kaze ni shitagau
himeyuri wa
tsuyukeki koto ya
narawazaruran
The heartless
Wind brushes
A young star lily:
To being dew drenched
Is she, perhaps, unaccustomed?

Lord Tsune’ie.
862

The Right state: the Left’s poem has not faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks the conception of Love.

In judgement: the Left uses ‘bamboo’ (kuretake) and the Right ‘star lily’ (himeyuri): although the Left’s ‘Maid: will she draw’ (ko wa shiorubeki) does not seem possible to accept on grounds of style, but the Right, in addition to also lacking much conception of Love, has ‘heartless wind’ (nasakenaki kaze) which sounds poor. Thus, the Left should win, I think.

 

Winter II: 28

Left.

あまたたび竹の灯し火かゝげてぞ三世の佛の名をば唱る

amata tabi
take no tomoshibi
kakagete zo
miyo no hotoke no
na oba tonaeru
Many times
The torches of bamboo
Are flourished, and
The three worlds’ Buddhas’
Names proclaimed.

Lord Suetsune.

595

Right.

明やらぬ夜の間の雪は積もるとも氷れる罪や空に消らん

akeyaranu
yo no ma no yuki wa
tsumoru tomo
kōreru tsumi ya
sora ni kiyuran
There’s no light
Within this night of snowfall
Drifting, yet
My frozen sins
Do vanish into the skies…

Jakuren.

596

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we must say that the Left’s poem has no faults. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the expression ‘frozen sins’ (kōreru tsumi).

Shunzei’s judgement: saying ‘torches of bamboo’ (take no tomoshibi) in order to refer to the ‘three worlds’ Buddhas’, is a somewhat unusual expression. The Right’s ‘my frozen sins do vanish into the skies’ (kōreru tsumi ya sora ni kiyuran) seems elegant [yū ni miehaberu], but refers only to the sins vanishing, and the conception of the Buddhas’ names seems somewhat lacking. Comparing the two poems, they must tie.

Winter II: 26

Left (Win).

河竹のなびく葉風も年暮れて三世の佛の御名を聞くかな

kawatake no
nabiku hakaze mo
toshi kurete
miyo no hotoke no
mina o kiku kana
Bamboo by the river,
Leaves streaming in the breeze, and
The ending of the year, with
The three worlds’ Buddhas
Honoured names – I hear them both…

Lord Sada’ie.

591

Right.

嬉しくも罪は夜の間に消えぬ也暮行く年や身に積るらむ

ureshiku mo
tsumi wa yo no ma ni
kienu nari
kureyuku toshi ya
mi ni tsumoruramu
How pleasant that
One’s sins in the space of a night
Do disappear, and
The year fading into dusk
Seems to lie upon me!

Ietaka.

592

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian [tsune no koto nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: the sound of ‘Bamboo by the river, leaves streaming’ (kawatake no nabiku), leading to ‘the three worlds’ Buddhas’ (miyo no hotoke) is not a particularly good expression. In the Right’s poem, if it was changed to ‘the disappearance of one’s sins is pleasant, but’ (tsumi no kiyuru koto wa ureshiki o), this would be more in line with the conception of the final section of the poem. By beginning ‘how pleasant that’ (ureshiku mo) it sounds as if the poet is pleased to bear another year, too. I wonder, is ‘bamboo by the river’ a recollection of the Palace Gardens? The Left should win.

Winter II: 10

Left (Win).

吉野山篠の假寢に霜冴えて松風早し深ぬ此夜は

yoshinoyama
suzu no karine ni
shimo saete
matsukaze hayashi
fukenu kono yo wa
Upon Mt Yoshino,
In fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo,
The frost falls chill, indeed, and
The wind gusts through the pines,
With the fall of night.

Kenshō.

559

Right.

外山なる柴の編戸は風過て霰横ぎる松の音かな

toyamanaru
shiba no amido wa
kaze sugite
arare yokogiru
matsu no oto kana
On the mountains’ edge
My woven brushwood door
Is pierced by the wind;
Hearing hail blown horizontal
Against the pines…

Jakuren.

560

Both Left and Right are exaggerated in their insistence that the other’s poem lacks any faults.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘Upon Mt Yoshino, in fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo’ (yoshinoyama suzu no karine ni) would seem to suggest an ascetic who, having travelled into the mountains, has made himself a hut from bamboo and pillowed upon the tree roots, would it not? But here he seems to have simply cut them down, spread them out and lain upon them! In addition, ‘The wind gusts through the pines’ (matsukaze hayashi) fails to sound elegant [yū ni shi kikoezaru]. The Right, by starting with ‘On the mountains’ edge’ (toyamanaru), suggests that the poet is speaking of his own dwelling’s door in the mountains. ‘Hearing hail blown horizontal against the pines’ (arare yokogiru matsu no oto) also just does not sound appropriate. Both poems have an exaggerated feeling [kotogotoshikaran to wa kokorozashite], and I cannot grasp who they are referring to. However, the Left’s poem is, still, somewhat superior.

Miscellaneous 100

Left (Tie).

我君の常盤のかげは秋もあらじ月の桂の千世にあふとも

wa ga kimi no
tokiwa no kage wa
aki mo araji
tsuki no katsura no
chiyo ni au tomo
Upon my Lord’s
Evergreen face
Never, shall autumn show,
Though he match the moon’s silver trees’
Thousand Ages.

199

Right (Tie).

散もせじ衣にすれるさゝ竹の大宮人のかざす櫻は

chiri mo seji
koromo ni sureru
sasatake no
ōmiyabito no
kazasu sakura
wa
Not a petal will fall!
In robes printed with
Bamboo,
The palace folk, have
Arranged cherry blossom.

200

Winter 48

Left (Tie).

雪折の竹の下道跡もなし荒れにしのちの深草の里

yuki ore no
take no shitamichi
ato mo nashi
arenishi nochi no
fukakusa no sato
Snow-snapped
Bamboo trails
Bear no tracks
After the storm
At the estate of Fukakusa.

95

Right

大伴の御津の濱風吹はらへ松とも見えじうづむ白雪

ōtomo no
mitsu no hama
kaze
fukiharae
matsu tomo mieji
uzumu shirayuki
In Ōtomo
Upon the beach at Mitsu, wind,
Blow clean
The pines, for they seem unlike themselves,
Buried in drifted snow.

96