Tag Archives: geese

Love VIII: 16


tamazusa no
taedae ni naru
tagui kana
kumoi ni kari no
miemi miezumi
His jewelled missives
Have become intermittent
It seems, just like
The geese up in the skies,
Glimpsed, and then not seen at all…

Lord Ari’ie

Right (Win)

yowa no tamoto ni
kaze fukete
namida no kawa ni
chidori nakunari
Unable to bear my love,
At midnight my sleeve is
Stirred by the wind, and
Upon a river of tears
The plovers are crying…


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we find no faults to mention in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the reason for emphasising ‘upon a river of tears the plovers’ (namida no kawa ni chidori).

In judgement: the Left on a lover’s letters becoming intermittent, and saying ‘the geese up in the skies, glimpsed, and then not seen at all’ (kumoi ni kari no miemi miezumi) has a charming conception, and elegant diction. The Right, saying ‘at midnight my sleeve is stirred by the wind’ (yowa no tamoto ni kaze fukete) and continuing ‘the plovers are crying’ (chidori nakunari) has a configuration and diction which sounds fine, too. The criticisms of the Gentlemen of the Left are nothing more than ‘a fisherman fishing beneath his pillow’! Although the conception of the Left’s poem is charming, the configuration of the Right’s poem is slightly more notable, so it should win.

Love I: 15



ikade mo to
omoishi imo ga
arisama wa
kataru hito made
natsukashiki kana
She has filled my thoughts, and
When she is described,
Even the one telling me
Seems more dear!

Lord Kanemune.




kumoma yori
koe o nokoshite
kaeru kari
kikazu wa kakaru
nagamesemashi ya
From out the space between the clouds
Linger the cries
Of geese, homeward bound;
Had I not heard them,
I would not be so sunk in thought!

Lord Takanobu.


The Gentlemen of the Right state: the use of the diction of ‘description’ (arisama) in the Left’s poem is inappropriate for the style of the poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is no more than a pedestrian poem on homeward-bound geese.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left certainly does sound most mundane and unpoetic. As for the Right, while it seems like an evocative poem addressed to the topic of homeward-bound geese, is it not difficult for geese, or people, to leave behind their cries? In addition, it is unclear what sort of thoughts it is that occupy the poet. Both poems’ style lacks clarity. Thus, they are comparable and the round must tie.

Love 52

Left (Win).


matsu ga ne o
isobe no nami no
utsutae ni
sode no ue kana
The pine trees’ roots
By stony shore bound waves
Are struck, and
Must stand revealed
Upon my sleeves.




hatsukari no
towataru kaze no
tayori ni mo
aranu omoi o
tare ni tsutaen
The first, returning goose,
Borne before the gate of heaven, of the unseen wind
Is no harbinger;
Just so the fires of my love:
To whom should I reveal them?


Autumn 33



aki kaze ni
soyogu ta no mo no
ine ga te ni
matsu akekata no
hatsukari no koe
The autumn wind
Rustles o’er the fields
Of rice; sleepless
I await the dawn’s
First goose-call.


Right (Win)


ikoma yama
arashi mo aki no
iro ni fuku
tezome no ito no
yoru zo kanashiki
Upon Ikoma Mountain
The storm wind with autumn’s longing
Hues is gusting;
Hand-dyed thread
Twining in the night is sad, indeed.


Spring 6

Left (Tie).


sato no ama no
shioyaki koromo
nareshi mo shiranu
haru no kari ga ne
A village of sea-folk
In their garb from the salt kilns
Parted and departing
Known and yet unknown
The springtime cries of geese.




hana no iro ni
hito haru makeyo
kaeru kari
kotoshi koshiji no
sora danomeshite
To the blossoms’ hues
This single spring stay bound,
O homeward-heading geese,
This year let the northern folk
Ask questions of the empty sky.


Sanekata Shū 206

At around the time when my visits to Lady Koichijōemon became sporadic, I went to visit her by ox-cart, with my ox-boy, Akimaro, as an outcrier; at her estate, the lady:


kumowi nite
kari ga ne Fa
aki kosi miti ya
omoFi iduran
Above the clouds,
Known to squawk is
The gander:
Now autumn longings have come, the way
Here has he recalled?