Tag Archives: frost

MYS VI: 1009

A poem composed in winter in the Eleventh Month, by His Majesty, when the Major Controller of the Left, Prince Kazuragi, and others, were granted the name Tachibana.

橘は実さへ花さへその葉さへ枝に霜降れどいや常葉の木

tatibana pa
mi sape pana sape
sono pa sape
e ni simo puredo
iya toko pa no ki
O, orange tree:
Fruit and flowers both,
And leaves, too,
Even should frost fall on your branches
Evegreen will you be!

The above poem was composed in winter, on the 9th day of the Eleventh Month, after Prince Kazuragi, Junior Third Rank, and Prince Sai, Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade, among others, surrendered their membership of the imperial family and were granted the name of Tachibana. At that time Former Emperor [Genshō], the Emperor [Shōmu], and Empress [Kōmyō], were present in the Empress’ quarters, and hosted a banquet at which poems celebrating the name of Tachibana were composed, and sake was presented to the new members of the family. It is alternatively said, ‘This poem was composed by the Former Emperor. In addition, the Emperor and the Empress each composed a single poem. Those poems were lost and cannot now be located.’ If one seeks copies of the documents now, they say that on the 9th day of the Eleventh Month [Tenpyō] 8 [736], Prince Kazuragi and other submitted a request to the throne to be granted the name of Tachibana. On the 17th day the request was granted.

MYS VI: 971

A poem composed on the 17th day of the Eighth Month Tempyō 4 by Takahashi no Mushimaro, when Fujiwara no Umakai was sent into the west to inspect the military forces there.

白雲の 龍田の山の 露霜に 色づく時に うち越えて 旅行く君は 五百重山 い行きさくみ 敵守る 筑紫に至り 山のそき 野のそき見よと 伴の部を 班ち遣はし 山彦の 答へむ極み たにぐくの さ渡る極み 国形を 見したまひて 冬こもり 春さりゆかば 飛ぶ鳥の 早く来まさね 龍田道の 岡辺の道に 丹つつじの にほはむ時の 桜花 咲きなむ時に 山たづの 迎へ参ゐ出む 君が来まさば

sira kumo no
tatuta no yama no
tuyusimo ni
iroduku toki ni
utikoete
tabi yuku kimi pa
ipopeyama
iyukisakumi
adamamoru
tukusi ni itari
yamanosoki
no nosoki miyo to
tomo no be wo
akati tukapasi
yamabiko no
kotapemu kipami
taniguku no
sawataru kipami
kunikata wo
misitamapite
puyugomori
paru sariyukaba
tobu tori no
payaku kimasane
tatsutadi no
wokabe no miti ni
nitutuzi no
nipopamu toki no
sakurabana
sakinamu toki ni
yamatadu no
mukaemawidemu
kimi ga kimasaba
Clouds of white
On Tatsuta Mountain
When the frosty dewfall
Shades it,
Across it
You will go, my Lord,
Many mountains
Passing, and
At foe-warding
Tsukushi arrive;
On the mountains end,
On the plains end, gazing;
Sentry squads
Dividing for despatch;
Echoes from the mountains’
Bounds,
Toad
Testing limits
Of the land
A’viewing;
Sealed in winter, then
When spring comes once more
As a soaring bird
Swiftly return!
When upon the trails of Tatsuta
Upon the hillside paths
Ochre azaleas
Bloom brightly;
When cherry blossom
Blooms,
Bearing elder flowers
Will we come to greet you!
Should you come home again…

Shun’e
俊恵

Winter II: 22

Left.

伎倍人のまだら衾は板間より霜置く夜半の名にこそ有けれ

kiehito no
madarabusuma wa
itama yori
shimo oku yowa no
na ni koso arikere
The Kie folk’s
Motley-coloured coverlet:

From between the boards
The falling midnight frost has
Given that name to mine!

Lord Ari’ie.

583

Right.

冴ゆる夜は天つ乙女もいかならん風もたまらぬ麻手小衾

sayuru yo wa
ama tsu otome mo
ika naran
kaze mo tamaranu
asade kobususma
On this chill, clear night
The maidens of the Heavens, too,
How must they feel?
Unable to avoid the wind,
With only a meagre hempen blanket!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

584

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we don’t understand the reference to ‘Kie Folk’ (kiehito). In response, the Gentlemen of the Left state: it occurs in the Man’yōshū. We have nothing more to say than that.

Shunzei’s judgement: although various remarks have been made about ‘Kie Folk’, and it has been said that it occurs in the Man’yōshū, it is not acceptable to simply say that and then say nothing more. It does appear to be something which it is acceptable to extract from the Man’yōshū and compose with, though. The Right’s poem, too, with its conception of frost falling on a ‘meagre hempen blanket’ (asade kobususma) is in a Man’yō style [fūtei]. It is also certainly the case that it is not unreasonable for the Left to have used ‘motley-coloured coverlet’ (madarabususma). The Round should tie.

Winter II: 19

Left (Win).

冴ゆる夜に鴛鴦の衾を方敷きて袖の氷を拂ひかねつゝ

sayuru yo ni
oshi no fusuma o
katashikite
sode no kōri o
haraikanetsutu
On a freezing night
Beneath my duck-down bedding
I lie alone;
The ice upon my sleeve
I can never brush away…

A Servant Girl.

577

Right.

木の葉をや鳥の上毛に殘すらん閨の衾も冴ゆる霜夜に

ko no ha o ya
tori no uwage ni
nokosuran
neya no fusuma mo
sayuru shimo yo ni
Are there any leaves
Left by the birds
For extra feathers?
The bedding in my chamber
Is frozen with frost tonight…

Jakuren.

578

Neither Left nor Right have anything in particular to say.

Shunzei’s judgement: I wonder about accepting the Left’s ‘Beneath my duck-down bedding I lie alone’ (oshi no fusuma o katashikite). The strengths and weaknesses are plain, and so there is not much more to say than that. The Left wins.

Winter II: 10

Left (Win).

吉野山篠の假寢に霜冴えて松風早し深ぬ此夜は

yoshinoyama
suzu no karine ni
shimo saete
matsukaze hayashi
fukenu kono yo wa
Upon Mt Yoshino,
In fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo,
The frost falls chill, indeed, and
The wind gusts through the pines,
With the fall of night.

Kenshō.

559

Right.

外山なる柴の編戸は風過て霰横ぎる松の音かな

toyamanaru
shiba no amido wa
kaze sugite
arare yokogiru
matsu no oto kana
On the mountains’ edge
My woven brushwood door
Is pierced by the wind;
Hearing hail blown horizontal
Against the pines…

Jakuren.

560

Both Left and Right are exaggerated in their insistence that the other’s poem lacks any faults.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘Upon Mt Yoshino, in fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo’ (yoshinoyama suzu no karine ni) would seem to suggest an ascetic who, having travelled into the mountains, has made himself a hut from bamboo and pillowed upon the tree roots, would it not? But here he seems to have simply cut them down, spread them out and lain upon them! In addition, ‘The wind gusts through the pines’ (matsukaze hayashi) fails to sound elegant [yū ni shi kikoezaru]. The Right, by starting with ‘On the mountains’ edge’ (toyamanaru), suggests that the poet is speaking of his own dwelling’s door in the mountains. ‘Hearing hail blown horizontal against the pines’ (arare yokogiru matsu no oto) also just does not sound appropriate. Both poems have an exaggerated feeling [kotogotoshikaran to wa kokorozashite], and I cannot grasp who they are referring to. However, the Left’s poem is, still, somewhat superior.

FGS V: 522

風寒みはだれ霜降る秋の夜は山下とよみ鹿ぞ鳴くなる

kaze samumi
hadarejimo furu
aki no yo wa
yamashita toyomi
shika zo nakunaru
How chill the wind
Dusting frost
On this autumn night;
The foothills echoing with
The belling of the stags…

Fujiwara no Mototoshi
藤原基俊

This poem is also included in the Horikawa Hyakushū.