wa ga sono e iza kaerinamu asagao no hito hana sakura no wa na rinikeri To my garden, Well, I must return, for A morning glory’s Single bloom in flower seems To have turned it to a meadow.
haru wa kinu tane ni makubeki ine wa na sa kura no hana e ni oroshihateteyo Spring has come, and The seeds must be sown; No seedlings sprout Beside the storehouse Sow them all!
和何則能尓 宇米能波奈知流 比佐可多能 阿米欲里由吉能 那何列久流加母
wa ga sono ni ume no pana tiru pisakata no ame yori yuki no nagarekuru kamo Within my garden Scatters the plum blossom; From the eternal Heavens snow Comes floating!
Ōtomo no Tabito
From the Six Volumes, on this topic.
hana sakishi niwa no ajisai ajikinaku nado yohira ni ware o suteken The flowers blooming in This garden—hydrangeas— Why, unreasonably, Do your fourfold petals, so completely Seem to abandon me at night?
The Ikasa Minister of the Centre
iwanami no kozue ni kakaru kokochishite musubamahoshiki niwa no matsukaze The waves breaking on the rocks, Are clinging to the treetops, I feel; O, to bind them with The breeze through my garden’s pines.
The Monk Ken’en
Winter Poems Twenty Rounds
kakikumori arare furishike shiratama o shikeru niwa to mo hito no miru gani Clouds rush in Dropping scattered hailstones; Pearl Strewn, my garden I would that he would see…
ama no kawa fuyu wa sora made kōrurashi iwama ni tagitsu oto dani mo sezu The River of Heaven in Winter: the very skies Seem frozen, with Between the rocky crags rushing No sound at all.
asu wa mata kyō o ba kozo to iisutete oshimishi mono to omoi dani seji Tomorrow, once again Will be as today I’ll say easily and All those things that I regretted- I’ll not even think of them!
fuyu no sora wabitsutsu kyō ni narinikeri ato naki niwa no yuki to minagara The winter sky is Ever a source of grief-today Has just turned out that way, While my gardens trackless Snow fills my gaze.
Judgement: I wonder how the central ‘I’ll say easily’ leads in to the concluding section. The Right’s poem is a little better, I’d say.
Cranes in a garden (庭上鶴馴)
niwa no omo ni hito ni naretaru ashitazu wa yowai o kimi ni yuzurunarubeshi Upon this garden’s face stands, Accustomed to folk, A crane; His years to my Lord Will he bestow, no doubt!
A Court Lady
chitose furu yado no keshiki ya shirukaran migiwa no tazu no narenikeru kana Is it that a thousand years old This dwelling does appear? For to the muddy Water’s edge the cranes Have become accustomed!
A Court Lady
First Snow 初雪
miyakobito mazu ko wa misen yamazato no niwa no kokeji ni fureru hatsuyuki To folk from the capital First of all would I show My mountain home’s Mossy garden paths, where The first snow has fallen.
uchineru yoi mo
fuki dani susame
niwa no matsukaze Unable to bear the pains of love, and
Dozing through the night –
That happens sometimes;
O, just blow gently,
Breeze through the garden pines!
A Servant Girl
nokiba no oka no
matsu mo urameshi Unable to bear the pains of love,
When I gaze out, once more
The evening sun shines
Past my eaves, where on the hillside
Even the pines seem resentful…
Same as the previous round.
In judgement: here we have ‘O, just blow gently’ (
fuki dani susame), and the Right has ‘Past my eaves, where on the hillside’ ( nokiba no oka no): these recollect the poems ‘in the depths of sleep I tread to you’ ( uchinuru naka ni yukikayou) and ‘the beams strike the hillside through the pine needles’ ( sasu ya okabe no matsu no ha); both sound elegant. I make this round a tie.
niwa no asajū
kokoro ni narasu
michishiba no tsuyu Awaiting him,
The cogon-grass in my garden
Has grown lush, indeed;
And I have taken to my heart
The dew that falls upon my lawn!
A Servant Girl
nabiku asaji no
iro yori mo
kawaru wa hito no
kokoro narikeri With the autumn wind
Waves the cogon grass,
Changing less than her
The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the intial part of the Right’s poem is derived from an old poem, and so does the end!
In judgement: I wonder whether the cogon-grass (
asajū), mentioned initially, is as clearly conceived as the ‘lawn’ ( michishiba) mentioned at the end? The Right’s poem refers to ‘So full are my thoughts, what am I to do? With the autumn wind’, but reverses the beginning and end of that poem; it is extremely old-fashioned in style, but pleasant as it is plainly intended to be understood as a variant of its model. Thus, the Right wins over the combination of ‘cogon-grass’ and ‘lawn’.