Tag Archives: hibari

Spring II: 18

Left.

春日には空にのみこそあがるめれ雲雀の床は荒れやしぬらん

haru hi ni wa
sora ni nomi koso
agarumere
hibari no toko wa
are ya shinuran
The springtime sun
Alone, into the skies
Does seem to lift
The skylark: his nest,
I wonder, if ‘tis in disarray?

Kenshō.

95

Right (Win).

子を思ふすだちの小野を朝行ばあがりもやらず雲雀鳴也

ko o omou
sudachi no ono o
asa yukeba
agari mo yarazu
hibari nakunari
Caring for her chick,
Starting from the nest into the meadow,
With the coming of the morn,
Without taking flight,
The skylark gives call.

Jakuren.

96

The Right team state that the initial and central stanzas of the Left’s poem are ‘grating on the ear’, while the Left snap back that they ‘don’t understand the meaning’ of ‘caring for her chick, starting from the nest’ (ko o omou sudachi), and moreover, having both ‘starting from the nest’ (sudachi) and ‘take flight’ (agari) in one poem is clumsy technique as the meanings are too similar.

Shunzei judges that the initial stanza of the Left’s poem is ‘truly awful’. And, ‘in general, from what we know of how skylarks live, there is no reason to expect that they would heedlessly fly off after fouling their nests. In spring, they raise their young in the fields, and when the evenings are warm, or the spring sun is bright, they remain flying in the sky and look down on their chicks from above. They are birds which swoop and soar. Thus, one cannot say that they heedlessly foul their nests. The Right is in keeping with the skylark’s nature, and in form the poem also appropriately poetic, but because of the distance of the first stanza from the last, it is possible that one might not grasp the sense of the poem on first hearing. “Starting from the nest” (sudachi) and “take flight” (agari) are, though, too similar. However, as the Left’s poem has an unpleasant line, and is contrary to the essence of skylarks, despite its faults, the Right’s poem must win.’

Spring II: 17

Left (Tie).

はるばると荻の燒原立ひばり霞のうちに聲あがるなり

harubaru to
ogi no yakehara
tatsu hibari
kasumi no uchi ni
koe agarunari
Into the distance, far,
The silver-grass plain is aflame;
A skylark takes flight, and
From within the haze, its
Song soars.

Lord Suetsune.

93

Right (Tie).

春深き野邊の霞の下風に吹かれてあがる夕雲雀哉

haru fukaki
nobe no kasumi no
shita kaze ni
fukarete agaru
yū hibari kana
Now is the height of spring, and
Haze lies o’er the plains;
The breeze beneath
Gusts, lifting
A skylark, at eventide.

Nobusada.

94

The Right have no comments to make about the Left’s poem, but the Left say they are ‘unused to hearing’ the expression ‘breeze beneath the haze’ (kasumi no shita kaze), and then continue to ask, facetiously, ‘Do you mean to say that skylarks don’t soar without a breeze?’ The Right reply that, ‘when the wind is blowing gently, it appears as if the bird is lifted by it – that is the scene.’

Shunzei states that Left’s poem, with its essence of the skylark’s call emerging from the haze is ‘truly charming’. He did ‘wonder’ about the Right’s essence of the bird being lifted by the breeze, can see the scene of a gentle ‘breeze beneath the haze across the plains’ (nobe no kasumi no shita kaze), and is attracted by both sides’ poems. Thus, there are no winners or losers this round.

Spring II: 16

Left (Win).

片岡の霞も深き木隱れに朝日待つまの雲雀鳴くなり

kataoka no
kasumi mo fukaki
kogakure ni
asahi matsu ma no
hibari nakunari
At Kataoka
The haze is deep upon
The shade of the concealing trees;
Awaiting dawn’s first light,
A skylark sings.

A Servant Girl.

91

Right.

野邊見ればあがる雲雀も今はとて淺茅に落つる夕暮の空

nobe mireba
agaru hibari mo
ima wa tote
asaji ni otsuru
yūgure no sora
Looking out across the plain,
A soaring skylark
Seizes the second
To plunge among the cogon-grass
From the evening sky.

Ietaka.

92

Neither team has any criticisms to make of the other’s poem.

Shunzei states that, ‘Left and Right deal with the skylark at morning and evening respectively. Both poems are alike in content, yet the Right’s poem conveys a particularly desolate feeling. Why should this be? Once more, the Left is the victor.’ Commentators are divided as to whether in this judgement he is suggesting that loneliness is an inappropriate emotion to convey in a skylark-themed poem, or whether, knowing that the Left’s poem was composed by Fujiwara no Yoshitsune, the host of the competition and the highest-ranking person present, he is simply flattering a powerful man’s work.

Spring II: 15

Left (Win).

住みなるゝ床を雲雀のあくがれて行衛も知らぬ雲に入ぬる

suminaruru
toko o hibari no
akugarete
yukue mo shiranu
kumo ni irinuru
His marital
Bed, the skylark
Has left, and
Within the drifting
Clouds has vanished

Lord Ari’ie.

89

Right.

見わたせば燒野の草は枯れにけり飛び立つ雲雀寢床定めよ

miwataseba
yakino no kusa wa
karenikeri
tobitatsu hibari
nedoko sadameyo
Looking out,
The stubble-burned fields’ grasses
Are all withered:
O, skylark, flying forth,
Find your bed, somewhere!

Lord Tsune’ie.

90

The Right state that they would have preferred it if the Left’s poem had been phrased ‘the skylark’s bed’ (hibari no toko), rather than ‘bed, the skylark’ (toko o hibari no), which essentially is an argument in favour of avoiding the non-standard grammatical pattern of Direct Object-Subject. The Left’s criticism of the Right is on the grounds of content, saying, ‘Is it not the case that in a “stubble-burned field” (yakino) there would be nothing to “wither”? If something is burned, there is nothing left.’

Shunzei states that he finds it ‘difficult to agree’ with the Right’s criticism of the Left’s poem, and then goes on to state that ‘the stubble-burned fields’ grasses are all withered’ must mean either that they were burned after withering; or, that they withered after sprouting afresh following a burn. Though he does not say so explicitly, neither would be appropriate in a Spring poem, so ‘the Left must win.’

Spring II: 14

Left (Win).

冬枯れの芝生が下に住みしかど春は雲ゐにあがる雲雀か

fuyugare no
shibafu ga shita ni
sumishikado
haru wa kumoi ni
agaru hibari ka
Winter-burned
The greensward, and beneath it
Dwelling, yet
With springtime to the skies
Ascending, ‘tis the skylark.

Lord Kanemune.

87

Right.

雲雀あがる春の燒野の末遠み都のかたは霞なりけり

hibari agaru
haru no yakeno no
sue tōmi
miyako no kata wa
kasumi narikeri
Skylarks soar above
The springtime stubble burned fields;
To the distance far
Towards the capital, all
With haze is covered.

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

88

The Right state that the Left’s poem ‘would probably be better’ without the final ka (the use of this particle, marking rhetorical tone, was considered old-fashioned by the time the poem was written, and this old-fashioned air is what the Right are criticising). The Left reply that the final two stanzas of the Right’s poem ‘are not effective’, probably suggesting that the poem implies the capital is on fire, rather than simply being concealed by smoke from stubble-burning.

Shunzei merely remarks that the Left’s criticisms are ‘apposite, in general’ and awards them the victory.

Spring II: 13

Left (Win).

末遠き若葉の芝生うちなびき雲雀鳴野の春の夕暮

sue tōki
wakaba no shibafu
uchinabiki
hibari naku no no
haru no yūgure
To the distance far
The growing greensward
Stretches;
Skylarks singing o’er the plain
In the springtime evening.

Lord Sada’ie

85

Right.

雲に入るそなたの聲をながむれば雲雀落ち來る明ぼのゝ空

kumo ni iru
sonata no koe no
nagamureba
hibari ochikuru
akebono no sora
From within the clouds
Comes song: thither
Staring,
Skylarks swooping
Through the skies at dawn.

Lord Takanobu.

86

The Right team question what it is that the greensward ‘streams’ (nabiku) towards, while the Left say that starting with ‘within the clouds’ (kumo ni iru) is ‘somewhat abrupt’.

Shunzei comments of the Right’s question, ‘whatever it streams towards, in truth, from point of view of form, it should not stream at all,’ meaning that there’s no need to use the expression at all in the poem. As for the Right’s poem, somewhat facetiously, he says, ‘what is “within the clouds” is, most likely a ball, and while gazing “thither at their song”, one would think that, no doubt, the skylark, too, would soon come swooping down, but one would have to stop staring in order to catch it!’ In addition, ‘wouldn’t it be to dark at dawn to distinguish a skylark?’ So, ‘Skylarks singing o’er the plain/In the springtime evening’ should be the winner.