Tag Archives: hollyhocks

Summer I: 18

Left.

雲の上を出づる使のもろかづら向かふ日影にかざすけふかな

kumo no ue o
izuru tsukai no
morokazura
mukau hikage ni
kazasu kyō kana
From above the clouds
The messengers emerge;
Bearing branches, hollyhock decked,
Bent towards the sun-bright power
In adornment on this day.

Lord Sada’ie.

215

Right (Win).

ゆふだすきかけてぞ頼む玉かづらあふひうれしきみあれと思へば

yūdasuki
kakete zo tanomu
tamakazura
aoi ureshiki
miare to omoeba
With mulberry-cloth
Garlanded, wishing for
A jewelled belt of
Hollyhocks, on this joyful
Festive day…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

216

The Right have no particular remarks to make about the Left’s poem. The Left, however, comment, ‘“Festival” (matsuri)and “festive” (miare) are somewhat different. They do not refer to events held on the same day.’

Shunzei responds, ‘While the Left’s “Bent towards the sun-bright power” (mukau hikage) certainly provides no evidence of a lack of feeling, in overall form the Right’s poem seems more elegantly flowing [migi utazama, iinagasaretaru yō]. While it is true that the festive days begin two days prior to the festival itself, the term can also apply to the evening of the festival day, and so the two can be seen as synonymous. The Right would seem to win.’

Summer I: 17

Left (Win).

雲井より立つる使にあふひ草幾年かけつ賀茂の川波

kumoi yori
tatsuru tsukai ni
aoigusa
ikutose kaketsu
kamo no kawanami
From the palace ‘bove the clouds
The messengers descend in
Hollyhocks;
How many years have
They met the ripples on Kamo River?

A Servant Girl.

213

Right.

年ごとのけふのみあれにあふひ草かゝるかざしはあらじとぞ思

toshigoto no
kyō no miare ni
aoigusa
kakaru kazashi wa
araji to zo omou
Every year
For the festival, today,
Hollyhocks
Apart, decorations
Are there none!

Lord Tsune’ie.

214

The Right remark that, ‘the waves appear somewhat abruptly’ in the Left’s poem, while the Left simply say, ‘from an unusual beginning, the Right’s poem says simply “decorations are there none”, which is obvious.’

Shunzei contents himself with, ‘The Left wins by a small margin.’

Summer I: 16

Left (Tie).

あふひ草かざすけふとぞ思しに花を折りても見えわたるかな

aoigusa
kazasu kyō to zo
omoishi ni
hana o oritemo
miewataru kana
With hollyhock I’d
Deck myself today
I thought,
And found all blessed with blooms
Within my sight!

Lord Kanemune.

211

Right (Tie).

ちはやぶる賀茂のみあれのあふひ草ひきつゞきても渡るけふ哉

chihayaburu
kamo no miare no
aoigusa
hikitsuzukitemo
wataru kyō kana
To mighty
Kamo for these three days have
The hollyhocks
In ever longer lines
Processed toward this day.

Jakuren.

212

The Right, ‘wonder if the Left’s poem doesn’t make the hollyhock seem like an afterthought?’, while the Left content themselves with saying, ‘the initial section of the Right’s poems seems rather dated.’

Shunzei disagrees: ‘The Left’s poem does not make the hollyhocks secondary – rather than implying they are mere decorations, it suggests the beauty of everyone beautifully adorned proceeding toward the shrine. As for the Right’s poem, the use of old-fashioned terms is normal in the context. This makes both poems are equal, and the round should tie.’