Tag Archives: fence

Love V: 22

Left (Tie).
涙せく袖のよそめは竝べどもわすれずやともいふひまぞなき

namida seku
sode no yosome wa
narabedomo
wasurezu ya to mo
iu hima zo naki
Tears are dammed upon
My sleeves, and within eyesight
Does she sit arrayed, but
‘Have you not forgotten me?’ –
To ask that, I have no chance!

Lord Sada’ie
883

Right.
梅が枝の末越す中の垣根より思ふ心や色に見えまし

ume ga e no
sue kosu naka no
kakine yori
omou kokoro ya
iro ni miemashi
The plum branches’
Tips cross beyond
Her fence, so
Will the love within my heart
Appear plain before her?

Jakuren
884

Both teams state there are no faults with their opponent’s poem.

In judgement: the Gentlemen of both Left and Right have stated that there are no faults with the style of either poem. I accept that and will make this round a tie.

Autumn I: 30

Left.

朝まだき庭も籬も野分して露をきあがる草の葉もなし

asa madaki
niwa mo magaki mo
nowakishite
tsuyu okiagaru
kusa no ha mo nashi
At the cusp of dawn
My garden and my fence, too,
After the gales,
Are drenched in dew
Flattened blades of grass – every one.

Lord Ari’ie.

359

Right.

夕間暮むら雲迷ひ吹風に枕定めぬ花の色いろ

yūmagure
muragumo mayoi
fuku kaze ni
makura sadamenu
hana no iroiro
In the dim dusk light
Crowding clouds confusedly
Blown by the breeze
Unable to rest are all
The many blooms.

Lord Takanobu.

360

The Right state that ‘linking “gales” with “drenched” is a poor expression’, while the Left feel that they have no criticisms of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei, again, broadly agrees: ‘What are we to make of the Left’s poem with a fence left standing in a garden after a gale? The Right’s “crowding clouds confusedly” is fine, indeed. Although the term “pillow” is unsuitable in this context, the Left’s “drenched in dew” cannot possibly be right here, either, and so the Right wins.”

Autumn I: 24

Left (Win).

月ぞ澄む里はまことに荒れにけり鶉の床を拂ふ秋風

tsuki zo sumu
sato wa makoto ni
arenikeri
uzura no toko o
harau aki kaze
Clear shines the moon, dwelling
O’er a house truly
Gone to ruin;
The quail’s bed
Brushed by autumn breezes…

Lord Sada’ie.

347

Sada’ie’s poem alludes obliquely to a famous poetic exchange from the Kokinshū, initiated by Ariwara no Narihira.

Right.

繁き野と荒果てにける宿なれや籬の暮に鶉鳴く也

shigeki no to
arehatenikeru
yado nare ya
magaki no kure ni
uzura nakunari
Overgrown are these fields, and
Is that a deserted
Dwelling?
By the fence at evening time
The quails are crying.

Jakuren.

348

Both teams concur that there are no faults at all this round.

Shunzei agrees: ‘Both poems are on the theme of now deserted dwelling places and are equally beautiful in expression, with the Right’s work reminiscent of “Fushimi at evening time”, but this implies a broad vista, and is not “the fence at evening time” too narrow? The Left’s final section is better, and wins, I think.’

Summer II: 13

Left.

片山の垣根の日影ほのみえて露にぞうつる花の夕顔

katayama no
kakine no hikage
honomiete
tsuyu ni zo utsuru
hana no yūgao
Facing the single mountainside
In evening sunlight upon the fence
Faintly seen,
Glistening with dew,
Is a bloom of moonflower.

A Servant Girl.

265

Right (Win).

折てこそ見るべかりけれ夕露に紐とく花の光ありとは

orite koso
mirubekarikere
yū tsuyu ni
himo toku hana no
hikari ari to wa
Plucked, that
I might gaze upon her,
Touched with evening dew,
Her belt undoing, this blossom
Is lustrous, indeed!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

266

The Right wonder whether the Left’s poem, ‘lacks the emotional import of the topic [dai no kokoro kasuka ni ya], despite the mention of moonflowers?’ The Left counter that, ‘The Right’s poem simplistically recalls The Tale of Genji [genji no monogatari bakari o omoeru]– is this appropriate in a poetry contest [uta’awase no akashi to nasu ni, ikaga]?’

Shunzei states, ‘The Left certainly does lack the emotional import of the topic. Moreover, it does not use the expression “moonflower blossom” (yūgao no hana), but “bloom of moonflower” (hana no yūgao). This, too, is contrary to the topic [dai no mama narade] and, I have to say, an unusual choice of expression. The Right’s poem does simply refer to The Tale of Genji, but in form it cannot be said to be anything less than superb [utazama yū narazaru ni wa arazaru]. It is superior to a “bloom of moonflower”.’