Tag Archives: ivy

Shunzei gosha hyakushu 77

夢路にはなれし宿見る現にて宇津の山辺の蔦ふける庵

yumeji ni wa
nareshi yado miru
utsutsu nite
utsu no yamabe no
tsuta fukeru io
Upon the path of dreams
I saw a house I used to know so well;
In reality, it is
Near to Utsu Moutain,
A hut all twined with ivy…

Fujiwara no Shunzei
藤原俊成

Autumn III: 6

Left (Win).

宇津の山越えし昔の跡古りて蔦の枯れ葉に秋風ぞ吹く

utsu no yama
koeshi mukashi no
ato furite
tsuta no kareba ni
akikaze zo fuku
Utsu Mountain,
Crossed in times of old by
Ruins, ageing; on
The withered ivy leaves
The winds of autumn are a’blowing…

A Servant Girl.

431

Right.

淺茅たつ庭の色だにあるものを軒端の蔦はうち時雨つゝ

asaji tatsu
niwa no iro dani
aru mono o
nokiba no tsuta wa
uchishiguretsutsu
The cogon-grass grows
In my garden, but the only hint of colour
Is in
The ivy by my eaves,
Wet with constant showers…

Jakuren.

432

As the previous round.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both Left and Right seem superb in form and diction [sugata kotoba wa yoroshiku miehaberu], but the Right’s ‘cogon-grass grows’ (asaji tatsu) is pretentious [yauyaushiku], and I wonder what to make [ikaga to oboehaberu] of the final ‘wet with constant showers’ (uchishiguretsutsu), but the conception [kokoro] of the Left’s ‘Utsu Mountain’, with its ‘ancient ruins’ brought back to memory by ‘on the withered ivy leaves the winds of autumn a’blowing’, is particularly tasteful [en]. Thus, the Left certainly wins.

Autumn III: 5

Left.

蘆の屋の蔦這ふ軒の村時雨音こそ立てね色は隱れず

ashi no ya no
tsuta hau noki no
murashigure
oto koso tatene
iro wa kakurezu
My roof of reeds,
Ivy twining on the eaves, is struck
By a soft shower
Sound is there none, but
The hues cannot hide…

Lord Sada’ie.

429

Right.

今朝見れば蔦這う軒に時雨して忍のみこそ青葉也けり

kesa mireba
tsuta hau noki ni
shigureshite
shinobu nomi koso
aoba narikeri
When I looked this morning,
The ivy twining on the eaves
Was struck by a shower;
Only the ferns remember
To remain green-leaved.

Lord Takanobu.

430

Neither team has any criticisms to make of the other’s poem, and say as much.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are concern ‘a shower falling on ivy-clad eaves’, with the Left mentioning no sound from a ‘roof of reeds’ and the Right the different hues of ‘fern-remembered eaves’ (shinobu no noki). Thus, there is not much between them. I make them the same quality.

Autumn III: 4

Left (Win).

色變へぬ松の緑に這ふ蔦はをのが紅葉を譲る也けり

iro kaenu
matsu no midori ni
hau tsuta wa
ono ga momiji o
yuzuru narikeri
The unchanging hue of
The pine tree’s green,
Entwined with ivy:
Its own scarlet leaves
It has surrendered…

Lord Kanemune.

427

Right.

色變へぬ松の緑もなかりけりかゝれる蔦や紅葉しつらん

iro kaenu
matsu no midori mo
nakarikeri
kakareru tsuta ya
momiji shitsuran
The unchanging hue of
The pine tree’s green, too,
Has gone:
Has the festooning ivy
Turned scarlet?

Lord Tsune’ie.

428

The Right wonder about the appropriateness of ‘green entwined’ (midori ni hau), adding that ‘entwined with ivy’ (hau tsuta) also sounds unpleasant [kikiyokarazu]. The Left simply say that the Right’s poem is plainly pedestrian [rei no tsune no koto nari], but have no other criticisms.
Shunzei’s judgement: Although both Left and Right begin with ‘unchanging hue’ (iro kaenu) and there is little to distinguish between them, the Left’s ‘its own scarlet leaves’ (ono ga momiji o) is charmingly poetic style [okashikarubeki yō no fūtei nari]. The Right’s ‘festooning ivy’ (kakareru tsuta) appears as if the poet cannot distinguish between the two plants, which is foolish [orokanarubeshi]. What is there to the criticism of ‘entwined with ivy’? Thus, the Left wins.

Autumn III: 3

Left.

下枝までかゝれる蔦は紅葉して錦を張るは和田の笠松

shizue made
kakareru tsuta wa
momijishite
nishiki o haru wa
wada no kasamatsu
The lowest branches
All festooned with ivy
Turning scarlet,
All in brocade are
The parasol pines at Wada.

Lord Suetsune.

425

Right (Win).

絶え間なくかゝれる蔦の色づけば紅葉を囲ふ墻根とぞみる

taema naku
kakareru tsuta no
irozukeba
momiji o kakou
kakine to zo miru
There’s not a break
In the festooning ivy,
Taking on its hue:
Enveloped with scarlet leaves
Fenced around, it seems…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

426

The Right state that the initial line in the Left’s poem, ‘the lowest branches’ (shizue made), fail to connect with the poem’s conclusion. The Left state that the Right’s poem is ‘pedestrian’ [tsune no koto], but have no other criticisms.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on ‘ivy’, with the Left referring to parasol pines covered in brocade, and the Right a fence joined with scarlet leaves. In conception, neither is unpleasant [kokoro, onoono, okashikarazaru ni arazu]. However, the final section of the Left’s poem is seems to be particularly lacking in poetic qualities [kotoni utashina naki ni nitari]. It would have been better had the Right avoided the artifice of the Left’s festooned parasols [kasahari nado wa sede] and simply mentioned ‘a fence, seemingly surrounded with scarlet leaves’ [momiji o kakouran kakine]. Nevertheless, it should win.

Autumn III: 2

Left.

見るに猶住まゝほしきは色いろに蔦這ふ小屋のよそめ也けり

miru ni nao
sumamahoshiki wa
iroiro ni
tsuta hau koya no
yosome narikeri
Gazing, again
Would I dwell there:
Many-hued
Ivy creeping round the hut,
Seen from afar.

Kenshō.

423

Right (Win).

年を經て苔に埋るゝ古寺の簷に秋ある蔦の色かな

toshi o hete
koke ni mumoruru
furu tera no
noki ni aki aru
tsuta no iro kana
The years pass by and,
Buried in moss,
The ancient temple’s
Eaves in autumn take
On ivy’s hues…

Nobusada.

424

The Right say, ‘If by Koya the Left means the place Koya in the Province of Tsu, there are no other connections in the poem. If, however, it is just referring to a hut (koya), we wonder about that composition [sayō ni mo yomamu ni ya].’ The Left respond, ‘It is perfectly normal when referring to a hut, to just have “hut” in the poem! In the Right’s poem, though, “Buried, the ancient temple” (mumoruru furu tera) sounds unpleasant [kikiyokarazu].’

Shunzei’s judgement: In the Left’s poem, if it is not referring to Koya in the Province of Tsu, I have no recollection of it being normal to just refer to a hut in a poem. Even if there was an earlier poem for evidence of this, the word ‘hut’ has no connections within anything in this poem, either. The Right’s ‘buried in moss’ (koke ni mumoruru) is splendid [yū ni koso habere]. As for ‘ancient temple’ (furu tera), although it is splendid in Chinese poetry to write [shi ni kaku wa yū ni haberedo] phrases like ‘the ancient temple, situated on the mountaintop’, this is not particularly elegant in waka [uta ni wa en narazaru]. However, besides the use of koya being poor, ‘eaves in autumn’ (noki ni aki aru) sounds charming [okashiku kikoyu]. The Right must win.