Tag Archives: Jien

Love VII: 27

Left.
かくこそは長柄の橋も絶えしかど柱ばかりは名殘やはなき

kaku koso wa
nagara no hashi mo
taeshikado
hashira bakari wa
nagori ya wa naki
And so it is that
The bridge at Nagara
Has ceased to be, yet
Are there not even pillars
In remembrance of what’s gone?

Lord Ari’ie
1013

Right (Win).
今も猶長柄の橋は作りてんつれなき戀は跡だにもなし

ima mo nao
nagara no hashi wa
tsukuriten
tsurenaki koi wa
ato dani mo nashi
Even now is
The bridge at Nagara
Being built?
Of this cruel love
Not even a trace remains…

Nobusada
1014

The Right state: it is certainly possible to say that the ‘bridge at Nagara’ has ‘rotted’ (kutsu), but there are, we think, no other examples of it ‘ceasing’ (tayu). The Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of saying ‘love not a trace’ (koi ni ato nashi).

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘the bridge at Nagara’ and, as has been mentioned by the Gentlemen of the Right in their criticism, the Left uses ‘has ceased to be, yet’ (taeshikado); there are many poems using ‘rotted’, because this is what happens to the pillars of bridges. After this bridge ceased to be, the pillars would still be rotting away. If you have the bridge ‘being built’ (tsukuru nari), why would you not then have it ‘ceasing’? That being said, I am only accustomed to hearing ‘bridge pillars’ (hashibashira), and having only ‘pillars’ (hashira) sounds completely lacking in logic. The Right’s poem uses ‘love not a trace’ (koi ato nashi): it is entirely natural for a variety of different things not to leave a trace. The current criticism must be due to there not being a prior example of this usage, but it is particularly difficult to say this about the initial section of the poem. The Right wins.

Love VII: 24

Left (Tie).
故郷に見し面影も宿りけり不破の関屋の板間洩る月

furusato ni
mishi omokage mo
yadorikeri
fuwa no sekiya no
itama moru tsuki
Back home
I saw her face, and
It lodges here,
At the Barrier House at Fuwa,
In the moonlight leaking through the boards.

A Servant Girl
1007

Right.
人恋ふる我ながめよ思けり須磨の関屋の有明の月

hito kouru
ware nagameyo
omoikeri
suma no sekiya no
ariake no tsuki
Loving you,
I will ever gaze,
I thought,
At the Barrier House at Suma
On the dawntime moon.

Nobusada
1008

The Right state: the Left’s poem is good. The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks any faults to indicate.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘Barrier House at Fuwa’ (fuwa no sekiya) followed by ‘the moonlight leaking through the boards’ (itama moru tsuki) is truly charming. In addition, if one wonders why ‘I saw her face’ (mishi omokage mo) has been used, it is certainly reminiscent of the poem ‘The dawntime moon, too, lodges in the waters clear’, but an improvement on it. It is difficult to say, however, that the Right’s ‘At the Barrier House at Suma on the dawntime moon’ (suma no sekiya no ariake no tsuki) is in any way inferior.

Love VII: 13

Left (Tie).
聞きわたるありなれ河の水にこそ影を傡べて住まゝほしけれ

kikiwataru
arinaregawa no
mizu ni koso
kage o narabete
sumamahoshikere
Echoes cross
The Arinare River’s
Waters;
Bringing to mind the face
Of the one I would be with…

Kenshō
985

Right.
涙川逢ふ瀬も知らぬみをつくし丈越す程になりにけるかな

namidagawa
ause mo shiranu
miotsukushi
take kosu hodo ni
narinikeru kana
A river of tears:
I know no way for us to meet, so
The channel buoys, my soul,
Are flooded over –
That is how they be!

Nobusada
986

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we are not accustomed to hearing the expression ‘Arinare River’ (arinaregawa), and the ending of the poem is old-fashioned. The Gentlemen of the Left state: ‘are flooded over’ (take kosu hodo) sounds excessively modern.

In judgement: ‘Arinare River’ is unusual, and the final section of the Left’s poem is certainly old-fashioned. The ‘river of tears’’ (namidagawa) ‘channel buoys’ (miotsukushi) do seem to be enduring an excess of water, don’t’ they! The round should tie.

Love VII: 11

Left (Tie).
遠ざかる人の心は海原の沖行く舟の跡の潮風

tōzakaru
hito no kokoro wa
unabara no
oki yuku funa no
ato no shiokaze
Ever more distant grows
His heart:
Into the sea-plains of
The offing goes a boat,
Wake touched by the tidewinds…

Lord Sada’ie
981

Right.
わたつ海の浪のあなたに人は住む心あらなん風の通ひ路

wata tsu umi no
nami no anata ni
hito wa sumu
kokoro aranan
kaze no kayoiji
The endless sea:
Beyond its waves
Does my love live;
Had they any pity,
The winds would make my path to her!

Nobusada
982

The Gentlemen of the Right state: there are too many uses of no. Would it not have been better to reduce their number with, for example, ‘o, sea-plains!’ (unabara ya)? We also wonder about the use of ‘wake touched by the tidewinds’ (ato no shiokaze). The Gentlemen of the Left state: ‘does my love live’ (hito wa sumu) is grating on the ear.

In judgement: saying that the Left’s poem has too many identical words is clearly relying upon the long-established hornet-hip or crane-knee faults. In today’s poetry there are countless poems in which these faults can be identified. In addition, ‘into the sea-plains’ (unabara no) and ‘o, sea-plains’ (unabara ya) are the same. I may be wrong here, but it seems to me that in this poem, it has to be ‘into the sea-plains’. Finally, ‘wake touched by the tidewinds’ is elegant. As for the Right’s ‘beyond its waves does my love live’ (nami no anata ni hito wa sumu), this is not grating, is it? It seems that the Gentleman of the Right, being so well-read in Chinese scholarship, has required revisions to the faulty poem of the Left in the absence of the judge. Thus, what can a grand old fool do but make the round a tie.

Love VII: 4

Left.
年月ぞ思かひなく過にける君をきませの山のふもとに

toshitsuki zo
omou kainaku
suginikeru
kimi o kimase no
yama no fumoto ni
For many years and months
I yearned to no end,
Passing time
Calling you on Kimase
Mountain’s foot.

Lord Suetsune.
967

Right (Win).
吉野山戀のあまりに思入ぬなかなかさらば人や訪ふとて

yoshinoyama
koi no amari ni
omoi’irinu
nakanaka saraba
hito ya tou tote
As Mount Yoshino
Is my love’s extent,
So deeply do I feel it;
But were I to do so,
Perhaps he would visit me there?

Nobusada.
968

Both Right and Left together state the opposing poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, would it really be to no end to pass the time calling on Mount Kimase? The Right’s poem, on Mount Yoshino, has ‘but were I to do so’ (naka saraba), which sounds charming. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VI: 28

Left.
限りなき下の思ひの行衛とて燃えん煙のはてや見るべき

kagirinaki
shita no omoi no
yukue tote
moen kemuri no
hate ya mirubeki
Without limit is
My secret love:
Does it lead to
Burning smoke
For her in the end to see?

Lord Sada’ie.
955

Right (Win).
藻塩燒く浦の煙を風に見てなびかぬ人の心をぞ思ふ

moshio yaku
ura no kemuri o
kaze ni mite
nabikanu hito no
kokoro o zo omou
Seaweed salt burning
On the shore, smoke
Sighted in the wind;
No trails from her
Heart to me, alas…

Nobusada.
956

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks smoke. The Left state: saying ‘sighted in the wind’ (kaze ni mite) sounds poor.

In judgement: the poem of the Right, which the Gentlemen of the Left have said ‘sounds poor’, has as its central section ‘sighted in the wind’, which I feel sounds extremely pleasant. The final section also sounds good. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VI: 24

Left (Win).
深き夜の軒の雫をかぞへても猶あまりぬる袖の雨哉

fukaki yo no
noki no shizuku o
kazoetemo
nao amari nuru
sode no ame kana
Late at night,
From my eaves the droplets
I number up, but
Still much more drenching
Is the rainfall on my sleeves.

A Servant Girl.
947

Right.
雲とづる宿の軒端の夕ながめ戀よりあまる雨の音哉

kumo tozuru
yado no nokiba no
yū nagame
koi yori amaru
ame no oto kana
Closed in with cloud,
From my dwelling’s eaves
I gaze out in the evening;
Overwhelming my love
Is the sound of rain…

Nobusada.
948

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we do not understand the Right’s poem at all.

In judgement: the Left’s poem commences with ‘late at night’ (fukaki yo no) and then continues with mention of raindrops – this sounds extremely effective. The Right’s poem, too, starts ‘closed in with cloud’ (kumo tozuru) and concludes with ‘the sound of rain’ (ame no oto kana), which sounds charming, but because the poem is said to be ‘incomprehensible’ or ‘grating on the ear’, despite being one with both a significant conception and an unusual sound, there is no reason for me to shoehorn in my own views, even if much has been overlooked, so this round I will leave it at, the Right is entirely incomprehensible and the Left without fault. Thus, the Left wins.

Love VI: 17

Left.
いつも聞く物とや人の思らむ來ぬ夕暮れの秋風の聲

itsumo kiku
mono to ya hito no
omouramu
konu yūgure no
akikaze no koe
Always do I hear
The same, is that what
He thinks?
This evening, when he has not come
Whispers the autumn wind.

A Servant Girl.
933

Right (Win).
心あらば吹かずもあらなん宵宵に人待つ宿の庭の松風

kokoro araba
fukazu mo aranan
yoiyoi ni
hito matsu yado no
niwa no matsukaze
If you have any pity,
Then I would not have you blow
Night after night
While I wait for him, through my home’s
Garden pines, o, wind!

Nobusada.
934

Both Left and Right state: we can grasp the sense of the opposing poem.

In judgement: I am unable to tell what it is that ‘does not come one evening’ (konu yūgure). ‘Whispers the autumn wind’ (akikaze no koe) is also perhaps rather novel. The Right’s ‘Garden pines, o, wind!’ (niwa no matsukaze) sounds pleasant. It should win.

Love VI: 9

Left.
戀わびて心空なる浮雲や行衛も知らずはてはなるべき

koi wabite
kokoro sora naru
ukigumo ya
yukue mo shirazu
hate ha narubeki
Suffering with love
My heart is as the sky-bound
Drifting clouds:
In some unknown place
Is where it will end…

Lord Kanemune.
917

Right (Win).
戀死ぬるよはの煙の雲とならば君が宿にやわきてしぐれん

koi shinuru
yowa no kemuri no
kumo to naraba
kimi ga yado ni ya
wakite shiguren
Should I die of love, and
Final smoke
Clouds become,
To your dwelling will I
Drift and descend?

Nobusada.
918

The Right state: does the Left’s poem really expresses the love of drifting clouds? The Left state: the Right’s poem is more suited to the topic of ‘Love and Smoke’.

In judgement: with regard to the Left’s poem, Lady Sagami’s poem from the Eishō Imperial Palace Poetry Competition: ‘Before I know it/In my heart, sky-bound/is my love’ (itsu to naku/kokoro sora naru/wa ga koi ya) would be a good prior example, but this poem inserts ‘drifting clouds’ (ukigumo ya), which is illogical. As for the Right’s poem, ‘To your dwelling will I drift and descend?’ (kimi ga yado ni ya wakite shiguren) sounds fine. Thus, and for this reason, the Right wins.

 

Love VI: 5

Left (Tie).
やすらひに出にしまゝの月の影我涙のみ袖に待てども

yasurai ni
idenishi mama no
tsuki no kage
wa ga namida nomi
sode ni matedomo
Reluctantly
Emerged and left
That moonlight shape;
Though my tears, alone,
Upon my sleeves do wait…

Lord Sada’ie.
909

Right.
をろかにも思やるかな君もゝしひとりや今宵月を見るらん

oroka ni mo
omoiyaru kana
kimi mo moshi
hitori ya koyoi
tsuki o miruran
Heedlessly
Do I wonder
Whether maybe she, too,
Is alone this night
And gazing at the moon…

Nobusada.
910

The Right state: we cannot grasp the sense of the Left’s poem. The Left state: we are unable to understand the reason for the Right’s use of ‘heedlessly’ (oroka ni mo).

In judgement: while both poems do appear to have some conception, the Gentlemen of both Left and Right appear to have stated that they are unable to grasp it. Far be it from me to provide an interpretation in the light of this, so I shall follow the Gentlemen’s remarks and make this round a tie.