Tag Archives: Jakuren

Love X: 16

Left (Win)
さざ浪や志賀津の海士になりにけりみるめはなくて袖のしほるる

sazanami ya
shigatsu no ama ni
narinikeri
mirume wa nakute
sode no shioruru
Rocked by wavelets
A fisherman at Shiga Bay
Have I become!
Glimpsing no seaweed,
How my sleeves are soaked…

Lord Suetsune
1171

Right
伊勢の海の底までかづく海人なれやみるめに人を思ふ心は

ise no umi no
soko made kazuku
ama nare ya
mirume ni hito o
omou kokoro wa
At Ise, to the sea
Bed dive
Fisher-girls: Am I one, too?
A seaweed-tangled glimpse of you
Lodging in my heart…

Jakuren
1172

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Left state: neither beginning nor end is sufficiently forcefully expressed.

In judgement: the conception and configuration of the Left’s ‘fisherman at Shiga Bay’ (shigatsu no ama) certainly seem splendid. That is really all there is to say about this poem. To make a deliberate point of seeking out elements which sound difficult is a pointless activity for the Way of Poetry and an individual poet. As for the Right’s poem, diving ‘to the sea bed’ (soko made) is just something that fisher-girls do. The Left must win.

Love X: 10

Left (Win)
一夜かす野上の里の草枕結びすてける人の契りを

hitoyo kasu
nogami no sato no
kusamakura
musubitekeru
hito no chigiri o
For a single night you lent,
At the estate of Nogami,
Your pillow of grass to me;
Entwined in
A brief bond of love!

Lord Sada’ie
1159

Right
恨むべき方こそなけれ東路の野上の庵の暮れ方の空

uramubeki
kata koso nakere
azumaji no
nogami no io no
kurekata no sora
My despite
Has no place to go;
Upon the eastern roads
Above a hut in Nogami
The sky is filled with darkness…

Jakuren
1160

The Right state: ‘for a single night you lent’ is grating on the ear. In addition, we wonder about the appropriateness of the final section. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no particular faults to mention.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘estate of Nogami’ (nogami no sato), and the Right’s ‘a hut in Nogami’ (nogami no io), then saying ‘entwined’ (musubitekeru) and ‘the sky is filled with darkness’ (kurekata no sora) – both poems have significant conception, but how should the initial section of the Right’s poem – ‘my despite has no place to go’ (uramubeki kata koso nakere) be understood? If it was a sky filled with light, then one would feel despite, but in the evening she would be lending her hut, surely. There is nothing unusual about the conclusion of the Left’s poem. It should win.

Love IX: 29

Left (Tie)
人待つと荒れ行く閨のさむしろに払はぬ塵を払ふ秋風

hito matsu to
areyuku neya no
samushiro ni
harawanu chiri o
harau akikaze
Awaiting him in
A dilapidated room’s
Chill blankets,
The dust I’ve left untouched is
Brushed by the cloying wind of autumn.

A Servant Girl
1137

Right
夜もすがら泪ながるる狭筵は払はぬ塵も積もらざりけり

yomosugara
namida nagaruru
samushiro wa
harawanu chiri mo
tsumorazarikeri
All night long
My tears flow upon
My blanket, so
Even the dust I’ve left untouched
Does not pile up…

Jakuren
1138

The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of the autumn wind blowing into a bedroom. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgment: while it does not sound as if there is a clear winner or loser between the ‘dust I’ve left untouched’ (harawanu chiri) used by both parties, why on earth should the autumn wind not blow into the Left’s bedroom? Really, there is no fault at all in saying that the wind will blow into a dilapidated bedroom! The Right has ‘dust I’ve left untouched’ flowing away with the speaker’s tears, and lacks any faults from beginning to end, but the configuration of the Left’s concluding ‘dust I’ve left untouched is brushed by the cloying wind of autumn’ is superior. The initial section of this poem is a little lacking, however, so both poems are equivalent and should tie.

Love IX: 23

Left (Win)
寝るにこそ夢も見ゆらめさ夜衣返すは浅き思なりけり

nuru ni koso
yume mo miyurame
sayogoromo
kaesu wa asaki
omoinarikeri
Is it that I sleep
That brings me dreams of her?
Night robes
Turned inside-out bring but shallow
Feelings…

Lord Kanemune
1125

Right
夢路まで憂き身の程はさ夜衣返すも猶や人知れぬ恋

yumeji made
uki mi no hodo wa
sayogoromo
kaesu mo nao ya
hito shirenu koi
Even on the path of dreams
So pitiful is my lot;
My night robe
I reverse, yet
Unknown is my love…

Jakuren
1126

The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘Is it that I sleep’ (nuru ni koso)? The Left state: the sense of the Right’s poem is difficult to grasp.

In judgement: both Gentlemen use ‘night robe’ (sayogoromo), and while the Left’s ‘sleep’ (nuru) is ordinary enough, I do wonder a little about the suitability of the initial ‘is it that I sleep’ (nuru ni koso), but it is certainly not the case that the conception of love in the poem is weak. The Right’s ‘I reverse, yet’ (kaesu mo nao ya) is elegant, but the poem’s conception certainly lacks clarity. Having a stronger conception of love, the Left wins.

Love IX: 13

Left (Win)
主やたれ見ぬ世の色を写しをく筆のすさびにうかぶ面影

nushi ya tare
minu yo no iro o
utsushioku
fude no susabi ni
ukabu omokage
Who painted you?
Unseen in this present world, hues,
Reflected by
A comforting brush,
Bring her visage before me…

Lord Sada’ie
1105

Right
水茎の跡に堰きをく瀧津瀬をまことに落とすわが涙かな

mizukuki no
ato ni sekioku
taki tsu se o
makoto ni otosu
wa ga namida kana
Faint brush-strokes
Traces place a barrier, but
A cataract in torrents
Truly drops –
My tears…

Jakuren
1106

The Right state: the Left’s poem is rather casual about the person whom he loves. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults we can identify.

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the Right have stated that the Left seems somewhat blasé about the object of his affections, and this is certainly true. The Right’s poem, though, says that the poet is looking at a painting on something like a folding screen, where a waterfall is depicted, and he weeps in reality – this seems like he was simply moved by the painting. I feel that there is a stronger conception of love in seeing a painting and fondly recalling the face of one now long gone, than there is in being moved by the sight of a mountain stream.

Love IX: 8

Left
恋妻はあらぬしらべしらべの琴の緒かあふことかたき音のみ絶えせぬ

koizuma wa
aranu shirabe no
koto no o ka
au koto kataki
ne nomi taesenu
My beloved wife:
Is it that untuned are
Our zithers’ strings?
So there is no harmony, and
Only my sobs are ceaseless…

Lord Suetsune
1095

Right (Win)
松風に通ふと聞きし琴の音も物思ふ時は身にぞしみける

matsukaze ni
kayou to kikishi
koto no ne mo
mono’omou toki wa
mi ni zo shimikeru
The wind in the pines
Resembles, I had heard,
A zither’s strains that, too,
When sunk in gloomy thought
Dye one so deeply…

Jakuren
1096

The Right state: saying ‘our zithers’ strings?’ (koto no o ka) is unsatisfactory. The Left state: if one is not depressed, would one not be deeply affected?

In judgement: the Left certainly sounds as if something is out of tune! The Right’s poem says that on hearing the wind pass through the pine trees, one would be affected. It sounds by no means distant from the topic. Thus, the Right wins.

Love IX: 3

Left (Win)
さらぬだに身にしむ夜はの笛の音を憂き人ゆへに聞き明かしつる

saranu dani
mi ni shimu yowa no
fue no ne o
ukibito yue ni
kiki akashitsuru
Even were I not so in love,
On a night that chills the soul
The strains of a flute
For that cruel one
Drift to me ‘til the dawn…

Lord Kanemune
1085

Right
我ゆへに思はぬ夜はの笛の音も藻に棲む虫と袖は濡れけり

ware yue ni
omowanu yowa no
fue no ne mo
mo ni sumu mushi to
sode wa nurekeri
For my sake
I did not think this night
The flute’s strains –
A shrimp among the seaweed –
Soak the sleeves.

Jakuren
1086

The Right state: the Left’s poem is overly lacking in thought. The Left state: no faults.

In judgement: the Left has ‘for that cruel one’ (ukibito yue ni) – does this mean perhaps that one is unable to sleep as a result of someone’s cruelty? The reference to ‘a shrimp among the seaweed’ (mo ni sumu mushi) in the Right’s latter section feels overly abrupt and sounds lacking in connection to anything else in the poem. ‘That cruel one’ sounds somewhat insufficient, but it certainly has no faults. Thus, the Left wins.

Love VIII: 30

Left (Tie)
忘れじの契うらむる故郷の心も知らぬ松蟲の聲

wasureji no
chigiri uramuru
furusato no
kokoro mo shiranu
matsumushi no koe
Never will I forget you –
Despairing of that vow
At home
All unknowing of my feelings
Comes a bell cricket’s cry…

Lord Sada’ie
1079

Right
來ぬ人の秋のけしきやふけぬらん恨みによはる松蟲の聲

konu hito no
aki no keshiki ya
fukenuran
urami ni yowaru
matsumushi no koe
He comes not, so
Is all seeming done, as autumn
Does wear on?
How I envy the weakening
Bell cricket’s song…

Jakuren
1080

Left and Right: both poems are equally admirable.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, with ‘all unknowing of my feelings comes a bell cricket’s cry’ (kokoro mo shiranu matsumushi no koe) is fine. The Right, with ‘is all seeming done, as autumn does wear on’ (aki no keshiki ya fukenuran), is too, so both Left and Right do truly move the heart, do they not? I have no way of distinguishing superior from inferior here, so thus must make the round a tie.

Love VIII: 23

Left (Tie)
身を捨てゝ思へといはゞ唐国の虎臥す谷に世をもつくさん

mi o sutete
omoe to iwaba
karakuni no
tora fusu tani ni
yo o mo tsukusan
‘Abandon all restraint, and
Love me!’ say that, and
In far Cathay,
In a valley where tiger’s lie
Would I end my life!

Kenshō
1065

Right
もろこしの虎臥す嶋もへだつらん思はぬ中のうときけしきは

morokoshi no
tora fusu shima mo
hedatsuran
omowanu naka no
utoki keshiki wa
In Cathay,
Isles where tigers lie
Stand in between:
A heedless love’s
Chill is such a sight!

Jakuren
1066

Left and Right together: both tigers do not seem to emphasise anything in particular.

In judgement:  both poems refer to ‘tigers’ (tora), with the Left having ‘a valley where tigers lie’ (tora fusu tani) and the Right ‘isles where tigers lie’ (tora fusu shima). These seem to be an attempt to differ from the standard ‘meadow’ (nobe). Saying ‘valley’ or ‘isles’ makes both poems sound modern. They are of the same quality.

Love VIII: 18

Left (Win)
鴨のゐる入江の浪を心にて胸と袖とにさはぐ戀かな

kamo no iru
irie no nami o
kokoro nite
mune to sode to ni
sawagu koi kana
Ducks flock on
The inlet’s waves
Within my heart, so
My breast and sleeves both
Are raucous with love!

Lord Sada’ie
1055

Right
佐保川の霧のまよひの程だにも妻もとむとて千鳥鳴夜を

saogawa no
kiri no mayoi no
hodo dani mo
tsuma motomu tote
chidori naku yo o
To the vernal river:
The mist brings confusion
And in its midst,
Seeking a mate,
A plover cries at night…

Jakuren
1056

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘my breast and sleeves both are raucous’ (mune to sode to ni sawagu)? The Left, in appeal, state: there is ‘the river-mouths of my sleeves’ (sode no minato) and ‘when I think, upon my breast’ (omoeba mune ni) so linking ‘breast’ and ‘sleeve’ is entirely uncontroversial. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we find no faults to mention in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: I understand the views of the Left’s poem held by both teams. It has also been said that the Right’s poem lacks faults. However, in ‘seeking a mate, a plover cries at night’ (tsuma motomu tote chidori naku yo o) only the two words ‘at night’ (yo o) have any conception of love. The remainder of the poem is simply about plovers, so there is little of love about it. ‘Breast and sleeves both’ (mune to sode to) should win.