Tag Archives: grasses

Love VIII: 20

Left (Tie)
いかにしてつれなき中を渡るべき足の音もせぬ駒のありとも

ika ni shite
tsurenaki naka o
watarubeki
ashi no oto mo senu
koma no aritomo
How, indeed,
To one so heartless
Can I make my way across?
Even a silent-footed
Steed had I to ride…

Lord Suetsune
1059

Right (Win)
道遠み妹がりがりいそぐその駒に草取り飼はんなづみもぞする

michi tōmi
imogari isogu
sono koma ni
kusa torikawan
nazumi mo zo suru
Long is the road
To go swiftly seek my darling, so
For my steed
I’ll go gather grasses
That he not tire along the way…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1060

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of making one’s way across when there is no ‘bridge’? The Gentlemen of the Left state: there are no faults to indicate in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: the gentleman of the Left has composed his poem referring to the conception of the Man’yō poem ‘A silent-footed / Colt I’d have: / In Kashitsuka, / The clapper bridge at Mama / To ceaselessly traverse!’, but must have misplaced the bridge somewhere. Truly, I do wonder how it is possible to make one’s way across in the absence of a bridge. Although to say ‘for my steed I’ll go gather grasses’ (sono koma ni kusa torikawan) is something commonplace, doing it to prevent one’s mount getting tired, despite the length of the journey, seems better than lacking a bridge.

Love VIII: 17

Left
山鳥のはつおの鏡掛けねども見し面影に音は泣かれけり

yamadori no
hatsuo no kagami
kakenedomo
mishi omokage ni
ne wa nakarekeri
A mountain pheasant’s
Tail of hempen cord this mirror
Does not suspend, yet
The face I saw there once
Makes me weep out loud…

Kenshō
1053

Right (Win)
面影をほの三嶋野に尋ぬれば行衛知られぬ鵙の草ぐき

omokage o
hono mishimano ni
tazunureba
yukue shirarenu
mozu no kusaguki
Her face
I did but briefly see at Mishimano
When I visited there;
I know not where has gone
The shrike hiding in the grasses.

Lord Takanobu
1054

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of combining ‘Mishima Plain’ (mishimano) with ‘the shrike hiding in the grasses (mozu no kusaguki). Is there a poem as a precedent for this? If not, is it suitable?

In judgement: both poems have the conception of love: of imagining the pheasant and his mirror, and weeping at the memory of a lover’s face; and thinking of the shrike hiding in the grasses, visiting Mishima Plain, and recalling the past. However, what should we do about the matter of whether there is a precedent poem for ‘the shrike hiding in the grasses’ on Mishima Plain? Surely, it could be any plain, so there is no reason not to use this. The configuration of ‘I know not where has gone’ (yukue shirarenu) sounds better than that of ‘makes me weep out loud’ (ne wa nakarekeri). The Right, again, must win, I think.

 

Love VIII: 2

Left (Win)
今はさはあはれと思へ菅の根の長き心の程は見つらん

ima wa sa wa
aware to omoe
suga no ne no
nagaki kokoro no
hodo wa mitsuran
Now, indeed, let you
Think fondly of me!
The grasses’ roots run
Long, my heart’s
Love will you see…

Lord Suetsune
1023

Right
世とゝもにかはくまもなき我袖や潮干もわかぬ浪の下草

yo to tomo ni
kawaku ma mo naki
wa ga sode ya
shioi mo wakanu
nami no shitagusa
With the passing time,
Not a moment dry
Are my sleeves;
Low tide does not reveal
The seaweed beneath the waves…

Lord Takanobu
1024

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem is clichéd.

In judgement: the Right, in addition to being clichéd, can say no more than that love means wet sleeves. The Left’s ‘grasses’ roots’ (suga no ne) is certainly better.

MYS XIX: 4172

In Kanpyō-Shōhō 2 [750], on the 24th day of the Third Month, it would be near to the beginning of summer in the Fourth Month, so he composed these two poems when, on the evening of the 23rd day,  he suddenly thought of a cuckoo calling at dawn.

霍公鳥来鳴き響めば草取らむ花橘を宿には植ゑずて

pototogisu
kinaki toyomeba
kusa toramu
panatatibana wo
yado ni wa uwezute
When the cuckoo
Arrives, his resounding song
Sends me gathering grasses,
For orange blossom
Has not been planted in my grounds…

Ōtomo no Yakamochi