Tag Archives: dewdrops

Love II: 17

Left (Win).

蓬生の末葉の露の消えかへりなをこの世にと待たん物かは

yomogyū no
sueba no tsuyu no
kiekaeri
nao kono yo ni to
matan mono ka wa
From the mugwort
Leaf-tips, the dewdrops
Have all vanished;
Yet within this world
Can I wait on…?

A Servant Girl.

693

Right.

頼めとや頼めし宵の更くるこそかつがつ變る心なりけれ

tanome to ya
tanomeshi yoi no
fukuru koso
katsugatsu kawaru
kokoro narikere
‘Believe in me’
And so I did, but
Night goes on
And, indeed,
His heart has changed!


Ietaka
.

694

Left and Right state: the contents of both poems are fine.

Shunzei’s judgement: the conception and configuration of both poems is elegant, and the Left’s ‘from the mugwort leaf-tips, the dewdrops’ (yomogyū no sueba no tsuyu) sounds fine. The Left should win.

Autumn III: 24

Left (Win).

霜結ぶ秋の末葉の小篠原風には露のこぼれしものを

shimo musubu
aki no sueba no
ozasawara
kaze ni wa tsuyu no
koboreshi mono o
Bound with frost
Are the leaf-tips of
The dwarf-bamboo grove, from where
The wind flung dewdrops
Once…

A Servant Girl.

467

Right.

月見れば霜に光を添へてけり秋の末葉の有明の空

tsuki mireba
shimo ni hikari o
soetekeri
aki no sueba no
ariake no sora
Looking at the moon,
Its light the frostfall
Has touched,
Autumn’s last leaf
From the dawning sky…

Lord Takanobu.

468

The Right state that, ‘If it were ‘dewdrops flung by the wind’ (tsuyu wa kaze ni koboreshi), the conception [kokoro] of the Left’s poem would be easier to understand.’ The Left respond that, ‘The meanings of both are identical. However, in the Right’s poem it is not clear what the ‘last leaf’ (sueba) is.’

Shunzei’s judgement: ‘The Right’s poem, in addition to the expression ‘autumn’s last leaf’ having no clear referent, shows a weakness of conception [kokoro sukunaku kikoyu] with ‘looking at the moon’ (tsuki mireba). The Left, progressing from, ‘bound with frost’ (shimo musubu) to ‘leaf tips’ (sueba) and then ‘dwarf-bamboo grove’ (ozasawara) sounds most fine [yoroshiku kikokyu]. Thus, the Left must win.

Autumn III: 16

Left.

祝ひ置きてなを長月と契かな今日摘む菊の末の白露

iwaiokite
nao nagatsuki to
chigiri kana
kyō tsumu kiku no
sue no shiratsuyu
Celebrating:
To have yet more long life,
Is the vow, with
White dewdrops from the tips
Of today’s plucked chrysanthemums…

Lord Sada’ie.

451

Right (Win).

君が經ん代を長月のかざしとて今日折り得たる白菊の花

kimi ga hen
yo o nagatsuki no
kazashi tote
kyō orietaru
shiragiku no hana
That my Lord will pass through
Ages more, for the Longest Month
Our garland will be
Picked on this very day,
White chrysanthemum blooms!

Lord Takanobu.

452

Neither team can find any fault with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem is excellent in both diction and overall configuration [sugata kotoba yū narubeshi]. Although the Right’s fine phrase [shūku] ‘picked on this very day’ (kyō orietaru) is somewhat archaic [koto furite] and I am unable to appreciate it, the Left’s poem, however, sounds as if it were a poem praying for one’s own long life. The Right, though, celebrates for one’s Lord, and so must win.

Autumn II: 11

Left (Tie).

物思はでかゝる露やは袖に置く眺めてけりな秋の夕暮

mono’omoi wa de
kakaru tsuyu ya wa
sode ni oku
nagametekerina
aki no yūgure
Without deep thought
Would such dewdrops
Fall upon my sleeves?
No, my gaze has, indeed, been lost
Upon this autumn evening…

A Servant Girl.

381

Right (Tie).

さてもさはいかにかすべき身の憂さを思果つれば秋の夕暮

sate mo sa wa
ika ni kasubeki
mi no usa o
omoihatsureba
aki no yūgure
And so
How should I escape
From my misery?
I thought t’was done and yet
Am faced with a lonely autumn evening…

Nobusada.

382

Both teams feel the other’s poem is ‘most fine’.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems take the topic of ‘Autumn evenings’ and present one type of emotional import before reversing it, making it difficult to judge between them. It would seem arbitrary to assign a winner and loser between such phrases as the Left’s initial section ‘Would such dewdrops fall upon my sleeves?’ (kakaru tsuyu ya wa sode ni oku) and the Right’s final section ‘I thought t’was done and yet am faced with a lonely autumn evening…’ (omoihatsureba aki no yūgure). Thus, the round ties.

Autumn II: 10

Left (Win).

夕さればそゝや下葉も安からで露は袂に荻の上風

yūsareba
soso ya shitaba mo
yasukarade
tsuyu wa tamoto ni
ogi no uwakaze
When the evening comes,
Rustling underleaves
Are restless;
Dewdrops on the sleeves:
Wind o’er the silver-grass.

Lord Ari’ie.

379

Right.

暮行けば野邊も一つに露滿ちて蟲の音になる庭の淺茅生

kureyukeba
nobe mo hitotsu ni
tsuyu michite
mushi no ne ni naru
niwa no asajū
When evening falls
The plains, too, are completely
Dew-drenched;
Insects sing from
The cogon grasses in my garden.

Ietaka.

380

The Right remark that ‘it is not clear what the “underleaves” (shitaba) belong to until the end of the poem’. The Left have a number of criticisms: ‘In the Right’s poem, it sounds as if the “cogon grass” (asaji) becomes “insects”. In addition, the topic of this poem is not “Garden Huts”. Furthermore, the poem lacks any expression conveying the emotional overtones of the topic – particularly with “the plains, too, are completely” (nobe mo hitotsu ni).’

Shunzei’s judgement: It is standard expression to begin a poem with ‘underleaves’, when concluding with ‘silver-grass’ as in the Left’s case. However, ‘rustling’ (sosoya) seems unnecessary in this poem. It seems a rather forced interpretation to think the cogon grass is turning into insects, seeing as this is not something that happens in nature. That this is a poem more suited to the topic of ‘Garden Huts’, though, is an unavoidable fault. So, while I cannot be satisfied with the inclusion of ‘rustling’, the final section of this poem is fine. It wins.

Autumn I: 28

Left (Win).

萩の葉にかはりし風の秋の聲やがて野分の露砕く也

hagi no ha ni
kawarishi kaze no
aki no koe
yagate nowaki no
tsuyu kudakunari
Bush clover leaves
Brushed by the breeze
Speak of autumn;
Swift comes the gale,
Scattering dewdrops…

Lord Sada’ie.

355

Right.

靡き行く尾花が末に浪越えて眞野の野分に續く濱風

nabikiyuku
obana ga sue ni
nami koete
mano no nowaki ni
tsuzuku hamakaze
Streaming
Miscanthus fronds
Wave
At Mano in the gales
Born from breezes off the beaches.

Nobusada.

356

The Left’s ‘speak of autumn’ (aki no koe) and the Right’s ‘born from’ (tsuzuku) are each found unsatisfactory by the opposing team.

Shunzei states, ‘Both the poems of the Left and Right have been found unsatisfactory by a number of modern poets, and is this not reasonable? However, the Left’s “Brushed by the breeze speak of autumn” (kawarishi kaze no aki no koe) is particularly fine. The Right’s “born from” is not a turn of phrase which could be considered pleasant; starting with “streaming” (nabikiyuku) and then continuing to “breezes off the beaches” (hamakaze) which lead to “Mano in the gales” (mano no nowaki ni) suggests an implicit meaning, but the Left’s upper and lower sections are finer. It should win.’

Autumn I: 23

Left (Win).

ひとり寢る葦の丸屋の下露に床を傡べて鶉鳴く也

hitori nuru
ashi no maruya no
shimo tsuyu ni
toko o narabete
uzura nakunari
Sleeping singly
In a reed-roofed hut,
Dripped with dew,
Beside my bed
The quails are crying.

A Servant Girl.

345

Right.

秋風に靡く尾花の夕露や鶉が閨の雨と散るらむ

akikaze ni
nabiku obana no
yūzuyu ya
uzura ga neya no
ame to chiruramu
In the autumn breeze
Flutter fronds of silvergrass,
Scattering dewdrops
On the quails’ roost –
How like rain…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

346

The Right state that the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state that, ‘“On the quails’ roost – how like rain” (uzura ga neya no ame) suggests that this is what it actually is.’

Shunzei disagrees: ‘It is not the case that uzura ga neya no ame definitely implies that it is actually rain, particularly with the scene set by dew on silvergrass. However, “beside my bed” (toko o narabete) is particularly attractive in expression. It should win.’

Autumn I: 18

Left (Left).

風渡る淺茅が上の露にだに宿りも果てぬ宵の稲妻

kaze wataru
asaji ga ue no
tsuyu ni dani
yadori mo hatenu
yoi no inazuma
Brushed by the breeze,
Atop the cogon grass
The dewdrops but
Briefly rest:
Lightning at dusk.

Lord Ari’ie.

335

Right.

眺むれば風吹く野邊の露にだに宿りも果てぬ稲妻の影

nagamureba
kaze fuku nobe no
tsuyu ni dani
yadori mo hatenu
inazuma no kage
Idly gazing
Across the windblown meadow;
The dewdrops but
Briefly rest:
Lightning’s light.

Ietaka.

336

The Right simply say, ‘The Left’s poem is fine, is it not!’ The Left, however, grumble, ‘We cannot see how the final phrase relates to what has come before.’

Shunzei states, ‘Both poems are remarkably similar in spirit and diction, with the Left concluding “lightning at dusk” (yoi no inazuma) and the Right with “lightning’s light” (inazuma no kage) – is there really much to choose between them? The Left wins.’

Autumn I: 17

Left (Win).

はかなしや荒れたる宿のうたゝ寢に稲妻通ふ手枕の露

hakanashi ya
aretaru yado no
utatane ni
inazuma kayou
tamakura no tsuyu
How brief it was!
In a ruined dwelling
Dozing, when
Lightning crossed
The dewdrops on my pillowing arm…

A Servant Girl.

333

Right.

すだき來し澤の螢は影消てたえだえ宿る宵の稲妻

sudakikoshi
sawa no hotaru wa
kage kiete
taedae yadoru
yoi no inazuma
All together have
The fireflies above the marsh
Lost their light;
Briefly remaining,
Lightning at the dusk…

Jakuren.

334

The Right state that they have no criticisms of the Left’s poem. The Left wonder about the suitability of fireflies disappearing in the autumn.

Shunzei feels, ‘The Left’s poem is certainly charming in form and expression, but more thought should have been given to the initial phrase “How brief it was!” (hakanashi ya). The Right’s poem, too, is charming, and as for fireflies being a topic for summer poetry alone, in autumn it is acceptable to compose on the failing of their light, is it not? Did not Anjin compose “Fireflies flashing on the palace stairs and gates/Crickets crying from the eaves and tiles”? There is also the example from the Collection of Songs to Sing Aloud of “Seeking cuckoo calls in the dawntime clouds/Innumerable fireflies flit among the autumn grasses”. Still, the Left’s “dewdrops on my pillowing arm” wins, I think.’

Autumn I: 13

Left (Win).

影宿す程なき袖の露の上に馴れても疎き宵の稲妻

kage yadosu
hodo naki sode no
tsuyu no ue ni
naretemo utoki
yoi no inazuma
The light dwells
But for an instant on my sleeves
Where dewdrops rest;
Accustomed to it though I am, how distant is
Lightning in the evening.

Lord Sada’ie.

325

Right.

むば玉の闇をあらはす稲妻も光の程ははかなかりけり

mubatama no
yami o arawasu
inazuma mo
hikari no hodo wa
hakanakarikeri
Lily-seed
Dark, broken by
Lightning;
The flash,
So brief.

Lord Takanobu.

326

Neither team can find fault with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei feels, ‘The spirit of “an instant on my sleeves” (hodo naki sode) is particularly fine, is it not? Prefacing “dark, broken by” (yami o arawasu) with “lily-seed” (mubatama no), seems somewhat overblown, and then concluding with “so brief” (hakanakarikeri) contradicts the initial statement. “Lightning in the evening” (yoi no inazuma) should win.’