Tag Archives: haru

MYS V: 815

On the 13th day of First Month Tenpyō 2, there was a gathering at the residence of the Governor General for a banquet. That year the month was truly a perfect example of early spring, with a sublime atmosphere and gentle breezes. The plum blossom bloomed with the whiteness of the powder one applies before a mirror; the orchids gave off a scent like that trailed behind one from a perfumed sachet. Moreover, in the morning the clouds moved across the peaks, and capped the pine trees with a silken gauze. Then with the evening mists rose from the mountain caverns, and birds, lost in the silken folds, flew in confusion through the woods. In the garden, new-born butterflies danced, while in the skies, geese flew homeward. Thus, with the heavens to cover us, and the land spread out before, we sat with knees close together and the wine-cups flew back and forth. All of us together quite forgot our words, and allowed our hearts to fly free in the beautiful scene. Truly, there is no way to measure the emotions of the time, so filled with pleasure were we. Were it not for poetry, how could we record our feelings? In the poetry of Cathay, there are volumes on the fallen blossoms, but what difference is there between those ancient compositions and those of the present? And so, and so, shall we not compose short poems on this garden of blossoming plum?

正月立ち春の来たらばかくしこそ梅を招きつつ楽しき終へめ

mutuki tati
paru no kitaraba
kaku shi koso
mume wo manekitutu
tanosiki opeme
The First Month appears and
With the coming of spring
Thus
Beckoned by plum blossom
Will we exhaust ourselves with joy!

Senior Assistant Governor General, Lord Ki

Love IX: 22

Left (Tie)
恋そめし思ひの妻の色ぞそれ見にしむ春の花の衣手

koisomeshi
omoi no tsuma no
iro zo sore
mi ni shimu haru no
hana no koromode
The first flush of love’s
Scarlet passion for her:
A hue that
Stains the flesh, as spring’s
Blossoms do the sleeves…

Lord Sada’ie
1123

Right
飽かざりしそのうつり香は唐衣恋をすすむる妻にぞ有りける

akazarishi
sono utsurika wa
karakoromo
koi o susumuru
tsuma ni zo arikeru
I cannot get enough of
Her scent transferred to
My Cathay robe:
Love for her begins
With a skirt!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1124

The Right state: both the conception and diction of the Left’s poem are unclear. The Left state: the Right’s poem, in addition to being commonplace, has ‘begins’ (susumuru) which is unimpressive.

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, while ‘blossoms do the sleeves’ (hana no koromode) is evocative, ‘a hue that’ (iro zo sore) is certainly extremely difficult to understand. In the Right’s poem, both ‘Cathay robe’ (karakoromo) and ‘with a skirt’ (tsuma ni zo arikeru) seem elegant, but I wonder about the impression of ‘her scent transferred’ (sono utsurika) and ‘begins’. It is unclear which poem is superior or inferior, so the round should tie.

KKS I: 12

A poem from the Poetry Competition held in the reign of the Kanpyō Empress.

谷風にとくる氷のひまごとに打いづる波や春のはつ花

tanikaze ni
tokuru koFori no
Fimagoto ni
uti’iduru nami ya
Faru no FatuFana
In the valley’s breezes
Does melt the ice, and
From every crack
Do burst waves – are these
The first blooms of spring?

Minamoto no Masazumi
源当純

Ietaka-kyō hyakuban jika’awase 2

Left
けふも猶雪はふりつつ春霞たてるやいづこ若菜つみてむ

kyō mo nao
yuki wa furitsutsu
harugasumi
tateru ya izuko
wakana tsumitemu
Still yet, today
Is the snow falling;
O, spring haze
Where do you arise?
For I would go and pluck fresh herbs!

3
In no hyakushu, shodo, Eighth Month Shōji 2 [September 1200]

Right
朝氷たがため分て此川のむかへの野べに若菜つむらん

asagōri
ta ga tame wakete
kono kawa no
mukae no nobe ni
wakana tsumuran
This film of morning ice:
For who’s sake do I break it?
On this river’s
Yonder side within the fields
Would I pluck fresh herbs…

4
Naidaijinke hyakushu, Ninth Month Kenpō 3 [October 1215]

Ietaka-kyō hyakuban jika’awase 1

Left. Spring
あら玉の年もかはらぬふるさとの雪のうちにも春はきにけり

aratama no
toshi mo kawaranu
furusato no
yuki no uchi ni mo
haru wa kinikeri
To the fresh jeweled
Year the change has yet to come, yet
Around my familiar home
Even within the snows
The spring is here!

1
Ninnaji gojūshu, Kenkyū 1 [1190]

Right
冬ながら花ちる空のかすめるは雲のこなたに春やきつらむ

fuyu nagara
hana chiru sora no
kasumeru wa
kumo no konata ni
haru ya kitsuramu
It’s winter now, yet
Are the blossom-scattering skies
Hazed
Beneath the clouds by
The arrival of spring, perhaps?

2

MYS X: 1891

冬こもり春咲く花を手折り持ち千たびの限り恋ひわたるかも

puyu komori
paru saku pana wo
tawori moti
titabi no kagiri
kopiwataru kamo
Sealed in winter
Springtime’s blooming blossoms
Do I take in hand –
A thousand times and more
Does love for you fill my thoughts.

Kakinomoto no Hitomaro Collection
柿本人麻呂歌集

KYS I: 53

Composed when a large number of the Junior Consort’s ladies conducted blossom-viewing during the reign of former Emperor Horikawa.

春毎にあかぬ匂をさくら花いかなる風のをしまざるらむ

Faru goto ni
akanu nioFi wo
sakurabana
ikanaru kaze no
woshimazaruramu
Every single spring
Never am I sated by
The cherry blossom;
What breeze is it that
Is not a cause of regret?

Chikuzen Wet Nurse
筑前乳母