Tag Archives: evening breeze

Love V: 24

Left.
葦垣の上吹越ゆる夕風に通ふもつらき荻の音かな

ashigaki no
ue fukikoyuru
yūkaze ni
kayou mo tsuraki
ogi no oto kana
The rush-wood fence is
Brushed over
By the evening breeze;
So hard, its coming
In the sound of the silver grass…

A Servant Girl
887

Right (Win).
葦垣の間近き程に住む人のいつか隔てぬ中となるべき

ashigaki no
majikaki hodo ni
sumu hito no
itsuka hedatenu
naka to narubeki
The rush-wood fence:
So near
She lives;
When will unblocked
Our bond be?

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office
888

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem is old-fashioned.

In judgement: both poems start with ‘rush-wood fence’ (ashigaki); the Left’s sound of the silver grass passed over by the evening wind sounds pleasant, but simply saying that the sound is hard means that the conception of Love in the poem is weak. While the initial section of the Right’s poem does sound antiquated, it is quite normal for this to be the case, and the lower section is certainly elegant. The conception of Love also seems clear, so the Right should win.

Autumn II: 9

Left.

秋といへばさらでも物の悲しきに夕風立ちぬ高円の宮

aki to ieba
sarademo mono no
kanashiki ni
yūkaze tachinu
takamato no miya
Speaking of the autumn,
Or even if we’re not, true
Sadness is in
The evening breeze
At the palace of Takamato.

Kenshō.

377

Right.

物ごとに秋はあはれを分ねども猶限りなき夕間暮かな

monogoto ni
aki wa aware o
wakanedomo
nao kagirinaki
yūmagure kana
Everything
About the autumn is moving
Without exception, but
Most of all, it is
The early evening.

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office.

378

The Right complain that ‘there is no specific linking expression in the poem with the palace at Takamato’; while the Left criticise the Right’s poem for ‘mentioning “everything” at the beginning, but then simply concluding with “early evening”.’

Shunzei’s judgement: while it is true that there is no specific link with ‘the palace at Takamato’ in the Left’s poem, is it not the case that it is a location redolent with sadness? The Right’s poem recalls ‘Everything/Is sadness/In the scarlet leaves’, and thus does not need to say more than this. However, we need to consider the concluding section ‘early evening’ (yūmagure kana). Just like ‘the palace at Takamato’, it lacks connection. The round must tie.

Autumn I: 21

Left (Win).

夕風の眞野の萩原吹くまゝに閨荒れぬとや鶉鳴らん

yūkaze no
mano no hagiwara
fuku mama ni
neya arenu to ya
uzura nakuran
As the evening breeze across
Mano’s bush clover meadow
Does blow,
Their roost disturbed, perhaps,
Quail burst into cry.

Lord Suetsune.

341

Right.

風の音花の色にもしるかりつ鶉鳴べき野邊の氣色は

kaze no oto
hana no iro ni mo
shirukaritsu
uzura nakubeki
nobe no keshiki wa
The sound of wind, and
The grasses’ hues
Do tell it:
‘Tis fit that quails cry
Upon a scene of plains.

Lord Takanobu.

342

The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left simply remark that having both iro and keshiki (which use the character 色) is ‘a fault’.

Shunzei’s judgement is that, ‘the Left’s “does blow” (fuku mama ni), followed by “their roost disturbed, perhaps” (neya arenu to ya) is not a particularly expression. The Right’s, “do tell it” (shirukaritsu) is somewhat old-fashioned; I would not regard it as a fault, but I do regret it. Thus, the “roost” should win.’

Autumn I: 20

Left (Win).

小萱原吹來る秋の夕風に心亂れと鶉鳴くなり

ogayawara
fukikuru aki no
yūkaze ni
kokoro midare to
uzura naku nari
Across the sedge fields
Come blowing the autumn
Evening winds;
My heart’s in disarray,
The quails are crying…

Lord Kanemune.

339

Right.

秋風を厭ひやすらん夕間暮淺茅が下に鶉鳴く也

aki kaze o
itoi ya suran
yūmagure
asaji ga shita ni
uzura naku nari
The autumn wind:
Do they dislike it, I wonder?
In the dark of evening
From beneath the sparse stalks of cogon grass
The quails are crying…

Lord Tsune’ie.

340

The Right feel that, ‘Just having “my heart’s in disarray” (kokoro midare to) is lacking something.” The Left have no particular criticisms of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei responds, ‘The gentlemen of the Right have remarked upon the lack in the Left’s poem, wondering, no doubt, if this should be “feeling my heart’s in disarray” (kokoro midare tote). If one were to say that this is definitely the way the poem should have been composed, it would be something of a loss to the Way of Poetry, I feel. If we permit poets to say they are “moved” (aware nari), why not that their “heart’s in disarray”? The Right’s poem has a superlative final section, but one cannot know whether quails dislike the autumn wind or not. In Springtime, the warblers frolic in the mists; in Autumn, the insects cry from beneath the dewdrops – but each only at their allotted time, and from this one can tell the season. The quails’ cries make one feel the chill of the autumn wind. If one composes that they hid themselves from dislike of it, it restricts the imagination about quails too much. The Left wins.’