Tag Archives: ice

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

Love I: 11

Left.

氷ゐるみるめなぎさのたぐひかな上堰く袖の下のさゞ浪

kōri iru
mirume nagisa no
tagui kana
ue seku sode no
shita no sazanami
As ice-bound
Algae on the beach
Am I:
The surface stopped up, but my sleeves
Conceal a confusion of waves…

Lord Sada’ie.

621

Right.

我とはと思ふにかゝる涙こそ抑ふる袖の下になりぬれ

ware to wa to
omou ni kakaru
namida koso
osauru sode no
shita ni narinure
I should say nothing,
I feel, and yet
My tears,
Held down by my sleeves,
Do flow beneath them…

Nobusada.

622

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left do not seem to be expressing enough. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the initial line of the Right’s poem is difficult to pronounce. In addition, it is difficult to understand.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left’s ‘the surface stopped up, but my sleeves’ (ue seku sode no) and the Right’s ‘held down by my sleeves’ (osauru sode no) are both elegant in form [yū naru sama], but no matter how much I ponder them I find them difficult to comprehend, so again, there is no clear winner or loser this round.

Winter II: 19

Left (Win).

冴ゆる夜に鴛鴦の衾を方敷きて袖の氷を拂ひかねつゝ

sayuru yo ni
oshi no fusuma o
katashikite
sode no kōri o
haraikanetsutu
On a freezing night
Beneath my duck-down bedding
I lie alone;
The ice upon my sleeve
I can never brush away…

A Servant Girl.

577

Right.

木の葉をや鳥の上毛に殘すらん閨の衾も冴ゆる霜夜に

ko no ha o ya
tori no uwage ni
nokosuran
neya no fusuma mo
sayuru shimo yo ni
Are there any leaves
Left by the birds
For extra feathers?
The bedding in my chamber
Is frozen with frost tonight…

Jakuren.

578

Neither Left nor Right have anything in particular to say.

Shunzei’s judgement: I wonder about accepting the Left’s ‘Beneath my duck-down bedding I lie alone’ (oshi no fusuma o katashikite). The strengths and weaknesses are plain, and so there is not much more to say than that. The Left wins.

Winter II: 12

Left (Win).

清水もる谷の戸ぼそも閉ぢはてゝ氷を叩く嶺の松風

shimizu moru
tani no toboso mo
tojihatete
kōri o tataku
mine no matsukaze
Where spring waters flow
From out the valley mouth
Is stopped;
Against the ice strikes
The wind from off the pine-filled peaks.

A Servant Girl.

563

Right.

梢にも夜半の白雪積もるらし音弱り行嶺の松風

kozue ni mo
yowa no shirayuki
tsumorurashi
oto yowariyuku
mine no matsukaze
The treetops, too,
Within the snows tonight
Are buried, it seems:
The sounds have softened of
The wind from off the pine-filled peaks.

Nobusada.

564

Neither Left nor Right find any fault.

Shunzei’s judgement: The phrasing of both poems, such as ‘wind from off the pine-filled peaks’ (mine no matsukaze), ‘Against the ice strikes’ (kōri o tataku) and ‘sounds have softened’ (oto yowariyuku), has not particular strong or weak points [kōotsu nakuhaberedo], but still, ‘against the ice strikes’ seems a little superior.

Winter II: 1

Left.

山里は朝川渡る駒の音に瀬々の氷の程を知るかな

yamazato wa
asakawa wataru
koma no oto ni
seze no kōri no
hodo o shiru kana
Dwelling in the mountains,
Crossing the river in the morning,
The horses’ footfalls
Upon the ice within the shallows
Tells to me its depth…

Kenshō.

541

Right (Win).

谷河の氷るだにある山里に人も音せぬ今朝の白雪

tanikawa no
kōru dani aru
yamazato ni
hito mo oto senu
kesa no shirayuki
The streamlet,
Even, has frozen
At my mountain home;
No folks’ footfalls
On this snow-white morning…

Ietaka.

542

The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left just remark that the Right’s use of ‘even’ (dani aru) is ‘poor’ [yokarazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: Despite the Left starting their poem with ‘dwelling in the mountains’ (yamazato wa), even if it is on a winter morning, where must it take place? It must be at a riverside estate, or village. In addition, the only element of the conception of morning, is ‘crossing the river in the morning’ (asa kawa wataru). I do wonder about the sound of ‘even, has frozen’ (kōri dani aru), but the snow in the morning is more moving and charming [aware mo okashiku mo] than the Left’s mere sound of horses’ hooves on ice, so the Right’s is the better poem.

Winter I: 29

Left (Tie).

いにしへの流れを受くる御狩かなその芹河の跡にまかせて

inishie no
nagare o ukuru
mikari kana
sono serikawa no
ato
ni makasete
In days long gone,
Flowed by here
His Majesty’s hunting party;
At the River Seri,
Traces, tell the tale…

Lord Suetsune.

537

Right.

いにしへの野守の鏡今日見れば御幸を映す氷なりけり

inishie no
nomori no kagami
kyō mireba
miyuki o utsusu
kōri narikeri
That long ago
Falconer’s mirror
:
When I look on it today,
Reflecting the progress is
A sheet of ice.

Jakuren.

538

The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem. The Left wonder whether ice is able to reflect anything, and what the purpose of using the term is.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are elegant [yū], starting with ‘In days long gone, flowed by here’ (inishie no nagare o ukuru) and ‘That long ago falconer’s mirror: when I look on it today’ (inishie no nomori no kagami kyō mireba) respectively, but the use of ‘the’ (sono) in the Left’s ‘the River Seri’ (sono serikawa) is poor [ika ni zo kikoyu]. The Right’s ‘ice’ (kōri) really does seem somewhat unsuitable. Thus, it is impossible to pick either as the winner.