Tag Archives: barrier

Love VII: 23

Left.
逢ひ見じと思かたむる中なれやかく解けがたき下紐の関

aimiji to
omoikatamuru
naka nare ya
kaku tokegataki
shimohimo no seki
Never to meet
Has she hardened her heart –
Is that to be our bond?
As hard to undo as
The barrier at Shitahimo!

Lord Suetsune
1005

Right (Win).
恋しともかくは人にも知られなんと思ふ心や文字の関守

koishitomo
kaku wa hito ni mi
shirarenan to
omou kokoro ya
moji no sekimori
The letters for love, should
I write, would she my feelings
Then understand, I
Wonder? Does her heart have
A barrier warden at Moji?

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1006

The Right state: ‘hardened her heart’ (omoikatamuru) is grating on the ear. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: regardless of whether the Left’s poem sounds poor or not, having both ‘hardened’ (katamuru) and ‘hard’ (kataki) is a fault. So, ‘a barrier warden at Moji’ (moji no sekimori) wins.

Love VII: 22

Left (Tie).
先の世に契らざりける身の憂さや逢坂山の君が関守

saki no yo ni
chigirazarikeru
mi no usa ya
ausakayama no
kimi ga sekimori
In a previous life
We made no vow –
Is that why all’s so cruel?
On the Mount of Meeting Hill
Barrier wardens stand before you!

Lord Kanemune
1003

Right.
頼めてもまだ越えぬまは相坂の関も名こその心地こそすれ

tanometemo
mada koenu ma wa
ausaka no
seki mo na koso no
kokochi koso sure
However much I hope
While I have yet to cross
Meeting Hill’s
Barrier, of Nakoso does it
Just remind me!

Ietaka
1004

The Right state: we wonder about the use of ‘Barrier wardens stand before you’ (kimi ga sekimori). The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks any faults to indicate.

In judgement: both Left and Right’s ‘Meeting Hills’ lack faults or merits. Thus, the round ties.

Love VII: 20

Left (Tie).
身に堪へぬ思ひを須磨の関据ゑて人に心をなどとどむらん

mi ni taenu
omoi o suma no
seki suete
hito ni kokoro ni
nado todomuran
Unable to endure
This love; at Suma
By the barrier am I placed;
Within my heart why
Does she remain so firmly?

Lord Sada’ie
999

Right.
逢坂の関のこなたに名をとめてこれより過ぐる嘆せよとや

ausaka no
seki no konata ni
na o tomete
kore yori suguru
nageki seyo to ya
On Meeting Hill
Barrier’s inner side
Must I stay, they say;
Ever pass your days
In grief! Is that your only message?

Lord Takanobu
1000

The Right state: ‘This love; at Suma’ (omoi o suma) sounds antiquated. In addition, how can one be placed by the barrier? The Left state: in the Right’s poem what is the ‘passing grief’ (suguru nageki)?

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the Right’s criticism of wondering ‘how one can be placed by the barrier’ suggests they have never been installed as Barrier Wardens! Both ‘at Suma by the barrier’ and ‘Meeting Hill Barrier’ are of the same quality. The round should tie.

Love VII: 19

Left.
逢ふ事は苗代水を引き止めて通しはてぬや小山田の關

au koto wa
nawashiro mizu o
hikitomete
tōshihatenu ya
oyamada no seki
Can a meeting, like
The waters round the rice seedlings
Be stopped
In their endless flow
Past the Oyamada Barrier?

Kenshō
997

Right (Win).
衣手は清見が關にあらねども絶ゆるよもなき涙也けり

koromode wa
kiyomi ga seki ni
aranedomo
tayuru yo mo naki
namida narikeri
My sleeves as
The Barrier at Kiyomi
Are not, yet
Without cease
Are my tears…

Lord Tsune’ie.
998

The Right state: we are unfamiliar with the expression ‘Oyamada Barrier’ (oyamada no seki). The Left state: it sounds as if it is tears that are ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is stylistically tasteful, but with only ‘can a meeting, like the waters round the rice seedlings’ (au koto wa nawashiro mizu) the conception of love is weak is it not? The Right’s poem metaphorically has tears ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi, and with the ta present, I accept the Left’s point to a certain extent, but this type of thing is not unusual in metaphorical poems.  In addition, there is little reason to imagine the waters round the rice-seedlings being blocked. As it has a stronger focus on Love, the Right wins.

SIS VIII: 445

Written on the rocks by the waterfall at Provisional Middle Councillor Atsutada’s mountain retreat at Nishi-sakamoto.

音羽川せき入れて落す瀧つせに人の心のみえもするかな

otoFagaFa
seki’irete otosu
taki tu se ni
Fito no kokoro no
mie mo suru kana
On Otowa River
A barrier is placed to drop
A cataract in torrents
And, your heart, perhaps,
Reveal!

Ise
伊勢

GSS X: 682

At around the the time the Kanpyō Emperor took Holy Orders, ladies were only permitted to serve him from beyond his curtains, and being unable to approach him closely, she wrote this and fastened it to his screen.

立ちよらは影踏む許近けれど誰かなこその関をすゑけん

tatiyoraba
kage Fumu bakari
tikakeredo
tare ka nakoso no
seki o suweken
If I were to approach,
I would simply step upon your shadow;
I am so close, yet
Who is it  Nakoso – Come not –
That barrier has placed between us?

The Kohachijō Miyasudokoro 小八条御息所
[Minamoto no Sadako 源貞子]