Tag Archives: Ietaka

Love IX: 1

Left
独寝を今は何にかになぐさめん隣の笛も吹やみぬなり

hitorine o
ima wa nani ni ka
nagusamen
tonari no fue mo
fukiyaminu nari
Sleeping solo,
Now, how can I
Console myself?
For the flute next door
Has ceased to play…

Kenshō
1081

Right (Win)
よなよなは枕になれし笛竹のいかなる床にふしかはるらん

yonayona wa
makura ni nareshi
fuetake no
ikanaru toko ni
fushi kawaruran
Night after night
By my pillow used to be
A flute, but
What bed is it that
He has gone to lie in now?

Ietaka
1082

The Right state: the Left’s poem is mundane. The Left state: what does it mean that a flute is used to lying by a pillow?

In judgement: the Left’s poem has ‘for the flute next door has ceased to play’ (tonari no fue mo fukiyaminu nari), but I wonder if this should not be ‘for the flute next door will cease to play’ (tonari no fue mo fukiyamu). In the rhapsody which Xiang Xu wrote on thinking of times long gone, he says this about a neighbour playing an old flute, ‘Next door, there is a man who plays the flute. The sound emerges, echoing clear,’ without any suggestion that he has stopped playing, so I wonder how appropriate it is in this poem to say that the playing has stopped. The diction of the Right’s poem, ‘by my pillow use to be’ (makura ni nareshi) seems fine. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VIII: 27

Left (Win)
蟲の音も秋を限りと恨むなりたえぬ思やたぐひなるらん

mushi no ne mo
aki o kagiri to
uramu nari
taenu omoi ya
tagui naruran
The insects’ cries do
Mark the bounds of autumn
With despair;
Are endless thoughts of love
To be my only fellow?

Lord Kanemune
1073

Right
夏蟲もうら山しきは秋の夜の露にはもえぬ思ひなりけり

natsumushi mo
urayamashiki wa
aki no yo no
tsuyu ni wa moenu
omoi narikeri
The fireflies are
A source of envy,
On an autumn night
When dewfall damps down
The fires of my passion…

Ietaka
1074

The Gentlemen of the Right: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘dewfall damps down’ (tsuyu ni wa moenu).

In judgement: the Left’s poem has been stated to be without fault by the gentlemen present. In the Right’s poem, I wonder if saying, ‘dewfall damps down’ is meaning nothing burns in autumn? On the matter of using the term ‘summer insects’ (natsumushi) to refer to fireflies, I do wonder whether it is appropriate to imply with one’s composition that there are no such insects in autumn. Although in the Collection of Poems to Sing Aloud, fireflies occur in the Summer section, among the same collection’s Chinese poems there is ‘in the dark before dawn innumerable fireflies start from the autumn grasses’. Furthermore, in Pan Anren’s ‘Rhapsody on Autumn Inspirations’ he says, ‘Glittering fireflies shine by the palace gate, and crickets sing from the eaves of the fence’. Even though there are countless cases of Autumn fireflies, how can one have composed suggesting that there are not? Thus, the Left wins.

Love VIII: 22

Left (Win)
唐国の虎臥す野邊に入るよりもまどふ戀路の末ぞあやうき

karakuni no
tora fusu nobe ni
iru yori mo
madou koiji no
sue zo ayauki
In far Cathay are
Meadows where tigers lie,
But rather than entering there,
The confusing paths of love
Are, at the end, more dangerous…

Lord Ari’ie
1063

Right
我宿は人もかれ野の淺茅原通ひし駒の跡もとゞめず

wa ga yado wa
hito mo kareno no
asajiwara
kayoishi koma no
ato mo todomezu
At my home
Is only a withered field
Of cogon grass;
The mount who once did cross it
Has left no lingering tracks…

Ietaka
1064

The Gentlemen of the Right state: how can love be dangerous? The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: saying that the ‘paths of love are, at the end’ (koiji no sue) dangerous is perfectly commonplace. ‘Is only a withered field of cogon grass’ (hito mo kareno no asajiwara) seems to simply have taken the poem ‘Sedge fields lie / Around the estate of Fushimi, / All long overgrown; / He who passed across them / Has left no tracks at all…’ and swapped in ‘mount who once did cross it’ (kayoishi koma). Changing a man into a mount is discomposing, indeed. Again, the Left should win.

Love VIII: 12

Left (Tie)
思ひかねうち寢る宵もありなまし吹だにすさめ庭の松風

omoikane
uchineru yoi mo
arinamashi
fuki dani susame
niwa no matsukaze
Unable to bear the pains of love, and
Dozing through the night –
That happens sometimes;
O, just blow gently,
Breeze through the garden pines!

A Servant Girl
1043

Right
思ひかねながむれば又夕日さす軒端の岡の松もうらめし

omoikane
nagamureba mata
yūhi sasu
nokiba no oka no
matsu mo urameshi
Unable to bear the pains of love,
When I gaze out, once more
The evening sun shines
Past my eaves, where on the hillside
Even the pines seem resentful…

Ietaka
1044

Same as the previous round.

In judgement: here we have ‘O, just blow gently’ (fuki dani susame), and the Right has ‘Past my eaves, where on the hillside’ (nokiba no oka no): these recollect the poems ‘in the depths of sleep I tread to you’ (uchinuru naka ni yukikayou) and ‘the beams strike the hillside through the pine needles’ (sasu ya okabe no  matsu no ha); both sound elegant. I make this round a tie.

Love VIII: 5

Left
人待ちし庭の淺茅生茂りあひて心にならす道芝の露

hito machishi
niwa no asajū
shigeriaite
kokoro ni narasu
michishiba no tsuyu
Awaiting him,
The cogon-grass in my garden
Has grown lush, indeed;
And I have taken to my heart
The dew that falls upon my lawn!

A Servant Girl
1029

Right (Win)
秋風になびく淺茅の色よりもかはるは人の心なりけり

akikaze ni
nabiku asaji no
iro yori mo
kawaru wa hito no
kokoro narikeri
With the autumn wind
Waves the cogon grass,
Colours
Changing less than her
Heart’s passions…

Ietaka
1030

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the intial part of the Right’s poem is derived from an old poem, and so does the end!

In judgement: I wonder whether the cogon-grass (asajū), mentioned initially, is as clearly conceived as the ‘lawn’ (michishiba) mentioned at the end? The Right’s poem refers to ‘So full are my thoughts,  what am I to do? With the autumn wind’, but reverses the beginning and end of that poem; it is extremely old-fashioned in style, but pleasant as it is plainly intended to be understood as a variant of its model. Thus, the Right wins over the combination of ‘cogon-grass’ and ‘lawn’.

Love VII: 29

Left.
葛城や久米路の橋にあらねども絶えぬる中は渡る物かは

kazuragi ya
kumeji no hashi ni
aranedomo
taenuru naka wa
wataru mono ka wa
At Kazuragi
The bridge of Kumeji
It is not, yet
Can a relationship that’s done
Ever continue on?

Lord Suetsune
1017

Right (Win).
葛城や渡しもはてぬ岩橋も夜の契はありとこそ聞け

kazuragi ya
watashi mo hatenu
iwabashi mo
yoru no chigiri wa
ari to koso kike
At Kazuragi lies
The unfinished
Bridge of stone:
A vow at night
There was, I hear!

Ietaka
1018

Both Left and Right state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘the bridge of Kazuragi, while the Left has ‘a relationship that’s done’ (taenuru naka). As the bridge, from the very beginning, was never finished, it is not appropriate to say that it is ‘done’. ‘A vow at night’ (yoru no chigiri) seems to be referring to Kodaigimi’s ‘cannot endure’ (taenubeshi). The Right has certainly matched the conception of the bridge. Thus, I make the Right the winner.

Love VII: 22

Left (Tie).
先の世に契らざりける身の憂さや逢坂山の君が関守

saki no yo ni
chigirazarikeru
mi no usa ya
ausakayama no
kimi ga sekimori
In a previous life
We made no vow –
Is that why all’s so cruel?
On the Mount of Meeting Hill
Barrier wardens stand before you!

Lord Kanemune
1003

Right.
頼めてもまだ越えぬまは相坂の関も名こその心地こそすれ

tanometemo
mada koenu ma wa
ausaka no
seki mo na koso no
kokochi koso sure
However much I hope
While I have yet to cross
Meeting Hill’s
Barrier, of Nakoso does it
Just remind me!

Ietaka
1004

The Right state: we wonder about the use of ‘Barrier wardens stand before you’ (kimi ga sekimori). The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks any faults to indicate.

In judgement: both Left and Right’s ‘Meeting Hills’ lack faults or merits. Thus, the round ties.

Love VII: 17

Left.
人心さのみはいかゞ水無瀬川我には淺き契なるらむ

hito kokoro
sa nomi wa ikaga
minasegawa
ware ni wa asaki
chigiri naruramu
Her heart
Is just like it; why as
The Minase River
So shallow for me
Should her feelings be?

Lord Suetsune
993

Right (Win).
いかにして影をも見まし澤田河袖つくほどの契りなりとも

ika ni shite
kage o mo mimashi
sawadagawa
sode tsuku hodo no
chigiri naritomo
No matter what
I would see her face in
The River Sawada,
Even if my sleeves get drenched
By my feelings…

Ietaka.
994

Both Left and Right together state: there are no faults to indicate.

In judgement: using ‘the Minase River’ (minasegawa) preceded by ‘is just like it; why as’ (sa nomi wa ika ni) sounds charming in style, but ‘should her feelings be?’ (chigiri naruramu) means the end of the poem is a bit dry! ‘The River Sawada, even if my sleeves get drenched’ (sawadagawa sode tsuku hodo no) sounds pleasant. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VII: 10

Left (Tie).
雲井まで續きて見ゆわたつ海の行衛知られぬ物思かな

kumoi made
tsuzukite miyu
wata tsu umi no
yukue shirarenu
mono’omoi kana
Beyond the clouds
My gaze goes on and on;
The endless sea:
What lies beyond is unknown
As my gloomy thoughts…

Lord Suetsune.
979

Right.
伊勢の海の潮瀬にさはぐさざれ石の砕けて物を思ふ比かな

ise no umi no
shiose ni sawagu
sazare’ishi no
kudakete mono o
omou koro kana
The sea at Ise:
Raging rapids with the tides,
Where pebbles
Shatter, gloom
Filling my thoughts these days…

Ietaka.
980

The Right state: the Left’s poem is clichéd. The Left state: the Right’s poem is that of Shigeyuki.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is clichéd, but in addition to this uses ‘goes on and on’ (tsuzukite), which is not something one should say. The Right’s poem is, indeed, overly close to Shigeyuki’s, so both Left and Right poem are deficient and lacking in any element allowing a win.