Tag Archives: blossoms

Asukai wakashū 928

惜しめども花もとまらぬ不破の関山吹越ゆる春の嵐に

oshimedomo
hana mo tomaranu
fuwa no seki
yamabuki koyuru
haru no arashi ni
I do regret it, but
The blossoms will not halt
At the barrier of Fuwa;
Passing over the golden kerria
In the storms of spring…

Asukai no Masatsune (1170-1221)
飛鳥井雅経

Winter I: 18

Left (Tie).

花は猶その姿とも見え分る枯野は蟲の聲ぞ戀しき

hana wa nao
sono sugata tomo
miewakaru
kareno wa mushi no
koe zo koshiki
The blossoms are still
By their simple shapes
Revealed, but
On this withered field the insects’
Cries are what I miss…

Lord Kanemune.

515

Right.

秋の色の移ろふ野邊を來て見れば哀は枯れぬ物にぞ有ける

aki no iro no
utsurou nobe o
kitemireba
aware wa karenu
mono ni zo arikeru
Autumn’s hues
Have faded from this field
I see, but
My sorrow is something
Evergreen…

Nobusada.

516

The Right state that they are unable to understand [kokoro yukazu] the usage of ‘revealed’ (miewakaru) in the Left’s poem. The Left find no faults in the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s use of ‘revealed’ sounds appropriate [yoroshiku kikoehaberu] in this poem, and ‘on this withered field the insects’ (kareno wa mushi) is most tasteful [yū ni koso haberumere]. The conception of the Right’s ‘Autumn’s hues have faded from this field’ (aki no iro no utsurou nobe) where ‘sorrow is evergreen’ (aware wa karenu) is most moving, indeed; the Left, too, has a find conclusion to their poem, and so with both being heartfelt [kokoro utsurite], the round should tie.

Autumn I: 27

Left.

跡もなく今朝は野分に成にけりしどろに見えし素児が竹墻

ato mo naku
kesa wa nowaki ni
narinikeri
shidoro ni mieshi
sugo ga takegaki
Not a trace remains, after
This morning, when the gales
Came, of
The jumbled sight of
Peasants’ bamboo fences.

Lord Suetsune.

353

Right (Win).

思やるわが心まで萎れきぬ野分する夜の花の色いろ

omoiyaru
wa ga kokoro made
shiborekinu
nowakisuru yoru no
hana no iroiro
Pondering,
Even my heart
Has faded, following
A night of galing,
With the blossoms’ myriad hues…

Jakuren.

354

The Right remark tersely that the Left’s poem is ‘just about “peasants’ bamboo fences” (sugo ga takegaki)’, while the Left reply, ‘and what about “galing” (nowakisuru)?’

Shunzei’s judgement is that ‘the Right’s poem is not bad in form [utazama wa ashikarazaru], but “Gales” must be composed about the wind blowing upon the many blooms on the plains, and to think that the wind would go so far as to cause damage to “peasants’ bamboo fences” is inappropriate. In the Right’s poem, “galing” does not seem a particular fault. By including “even my heart” (wa ga kokoro made) a link is formed between blossoms and emotions [kokoro ni aru ni nitarubeshi]. The Right’s poem has the essence of the topic [hon’i naru ya], does it not? It must win.’

Autumn I: 26

Left.

百草の花もいかにか思ふらんあな情なの今朝の野分や

momokusa no
hana mo ika ni ka
omouran
ana nasakena no
kesa no nowaki ya
A myriad of grasses’
Bloom
: o what
To think?
How heartless was
The gale this morning!

Lord Kanemune.

351

Right (Win).

吹亂る野分の風の荒ければ安き空なき花の色色

fukimidaru
nowaki no kaze no
arakereba
yasuki sora naki
hana no iroiro
Blown into confusion by
The gale’s gusts
So fierce;
No respite to bloom
For any of the blossoms!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

352

Neither Left nor Right can find anything to remark upon this round, and say as much.

Shunzei states, ‘“How heartless” (ana nasake na) is, indeed, an intriguing choice of words. The Right’s “blown into confusion” (fukimidaru) is reminiscent of the Tamakazura’s poem in Genji and all the more charming for it, is it not? Furthermore, the Left’s “blooms: o what” (hana mo ika ni ka) and the Right’s “no respite to bloom” (yasuki sora naki) are of equivalent quality, but the Left’s “myriad of grasses” lacks a linking term. Including “blown into confusion” makes the Right’s poem slightly superior, I would say.’

Autumn I: 19

Left.

鷹の子を手にも据へねど鶉鳴く淡津の原に今日も暮しつ

taka no ko o
te ni mo suenedo
uzura naku
awazu no hara ni
kyō mo kurashitsu
A hawklet
On my arm have I not, yet
The quails are crying
On Awazu plain, as
The day turns dark.

Kenshō.

337

Right.

秋といへば鶉鳴くなり原鹿の音をこそ花に任すれ

aki to ieba
uzura naku nari
kohagiwara
shika no ne o koso
hana ni makasure
Autumn is
The quails crying, while
From a field of fresh bush clover,
The stags’ call,
Summoned by the blossoms.

Ietaka.

338

The Right state they have no particular criticisms of the Left this round. The Left, however, remark that, ‘“Quails” do not have such a general reputation. The use of “summoned by the blossoms” (hana ni makasure) is also dubious.’

Shunzei remarks, ‘The Left’s poem would seem to be in the spirit of the popular song “A Hawklet”, except that here the poet lacks the hawklet and “on Awazu plain, the day turns dark” (awazu no hara ni kyō mo kurashitsu). I can only think that he has spent the entire day there wondering about hunting quail! I also feel that the poem’s whole construction is rather commonplace. The Right’s poem is, indeed, poetic, and were there an exemplar poem for the blossoms summoning “the stags’ call” (shika no ne), I would make it the winner. In its absence, the round ties.’

Summer II: 12

Left (Win).

袖のうちに半ば隱るゝ扇こそまだ出はてぬ月と見えけれ

sode no uchi ni
nakaba kakururu
ōgi koso
made idehatenu
tsuki to miekere
Within my sleeve
A half-concealed
Fan,
The barely risen
Moon to me recalls.

Lord Suetsune.

263

Right.

恨みても散りにし花を尋ばや扇ぞ風のやどりなりける

uramitemo
chirinishi hana o
tazuneba ya
ōgi zo kaze no
yadori narikeru
I resent it, yet upon
The fallen blossoms
Would I pay a call;
Within my fan, the breeze
Has made its lodging.

Jakuren.

264

The Right find that the Left’s poem, ‘seems to have no problems,’ while the Left state that the Right’s is ‘extremely good.’

Shunzei judges, ‘The Left’s poem displays a fine use of expression. The Right’s poem is redolent the Kokinshu poem “Breeze’s lodging – Does anyone know it? Tell me! For I would go and curse it!”, but refers to already fallen blossoms. The gentlemen of the Left have pronounced the Right’s poem fine, but I feel the Left must win.’

Summer I: 6

Left.

花は散りぬいかにいひてか人待たん月だにもらぬ庭の梢に

hana wa chirinu
ika ni iite ka
hito matan
tsuki dani moranu
niwa no kozue ni
The blossoms all are fallen, and
What am I to say?
Does it await folk visiting?
The moonlight, leaving untouched
The treetops in my garden…

A Servant Girl.

191

Right (Win).

春深き野邉の景色と見しほどに緑は宿のこずゑ也けり

haru fukaki
nobe no keshiki to
mishi hodo ni
midori wa yado no
kozue narikeri
Spring lay deep
Across the fields
I saw, and then
The green was on my lodgings’
Treetops!

Jakuren.

192

Neither team has any comments to make about the other’s poem.

Shunzei states, ‘Both of these poems are superlative in configuration and diction [sugata kotoba tomo ni yū], but the Left’s “await folk visiting” (hito matan) seems slightly unsatisfying. The Right’s “green on my lodgings” (midori wa yado no) gives it a slight edge in configuration [sutata sukoshi wa masarubeku], and so it should win.”