Tag Archives: Jien

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.

Love V: 30

Left (Tie).
故郷を出でしにまさる涙かな嵐の枕夢に別れて

furusato ni
ideshi ni masaru
namida kana
arashi no makura
yume ni wakarete
My home
I left in floods
Of tears;
The wild wind round my pillow
Breaks us apart in dreams…

Lord Sada’ie
899

Right.
東路の夜半の眺めを語らなん都の山にかゝる月影

azumaji no
yowa no nagame o
kataranan
miyako no yama ni
kakaru tsukikage
Upon the eastern roads
All night I turn my gaze –
Tell him that,
O moonlight, sinking
Toward the mountains round the capital!

Nobusada
900

Both Left and Right say they find no faults.

In judgement: the Left starts with ‘My home I left in floods’ (furusato ni ideshi ni masaru) and concludes with ‘the wild wind round my pillow breaks us apart in dreams’ (arashi no makura yume ni wakarete) – this is a form of words the quality of which I am entirely unable to convey with my own clumsy expressions, but the Right’s ‘O moonlight, sinking toward the mountains round the capital’ (miyako no yama ni kakaru tsukikage) is awash with a sense of tears, so it is most unclear which should win or lose. Both truly seem to reflect the conception of this topic ‘Love and Travel’ well. The poems have been so good every round that my brush is drenched with this old man’s tears, and I can find no other way to express it.

 

Love V: 21

Left (Win).
重ねずと思ふばかりぞ小夜衣匂ひは袖に移りぬるかな

kasanezu to
omou bakari zo
sayogoromo
nioi wa sode ni
utsurinuru kana
No piled robes, but
All I do is long for her:
Her night-robe’s
Scent upon my sleeves
Does dwell….

Lord Suetsune
881

Right.
匂ひ來る梢ばかりを情にて主は遠き宿の梅が枝

nioikuru
kozue bakari o
nasake nite
aruji wa tōki
yado no mume ga e
The scent drifting
From the treetops is my only
Consolation, for
Their master is as far away
As his dwelling’s plum blossom branches…

Nobusada
882

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults to indicate. The Left state: is the Right’s poem not composed upon the plum blossom of the house next door?

In judgement: for the topic of ‘Nearby Love’, poems composed where the lovers are in the same room are most likely winners. Even so, how close do their dwellings need to be? The Left’s latter section, ‘Her night-robe’s scent upon my sleeves’ (sayogoromo nioi wa sode ni) is certainly elegant. The Right’s poem has ‘Their master is as far away’ (aruji wa tōki). Simply because of this, it is certainly not composed on plum blossom. Still, the Left’s ‘night-robe’ (sayogoromo) seems a little superior to ‘The scent drifting from the treetops is my only consolation’ (nioikuru kozue bakari o nasake nite).

 

Love V: 18

Left (Tie).
戀しとは便りにつけていひやりつ年は返りぬ人は歸らず

koishi to wa
tayori ni tsukete
iiyaritsu
toshi wa kaerinu
hito wa kaerazu
I love you,
I put in a letter, and
Sent it off;
The years have gone by, but
He has not returned.

A Servant Girl
875

Right.
遥かなり幾草枕結びてかその下紐の解けんとすらん

harukanari
iku kusamakura
musubite ka
sono shitahimo no
token to sururan
A great distance –
How many times pillowed on the grass?
Tied tight
My under-belt –
I wonder when I will undo it?

Nobusada
876

The Right state: the Left’s poem seems comic. The Left state: the initial line of the Right’s poems does not seem to have much to say.

In judgement: I wonder if it really is comic? It’s just a poem in one particular style. The conception of the poem ‘I do not await / The new year, yet it is here; / The Winter plants’ is especially charming. As for the Right, the Gentlemen have stated that the first line ‘has nothing much to say’, but I feel it is appropriately placed. Furthermore, I wonder what to think about the final ‘my under-belt’ (sono shitahimo), but, then again, the configuration of ‘How many times pillowed on the grass’ (iku kusa makura) is evocative. The poems are comparable, and again, they tie. Alas, my judgement here suggests I know nothing of poetry. It is most difficult when one realises how times have changed. How sad it is…

Love V: 10

Left (Tie).
年を經て遂に逢べき中ならば齢ばかりを歎かざらまし

toshi o hete
tsui ni aubeki
naka naraba
yowai bakari o
nagekazaramashi
If the years go by, and
Finally, that we meet
Should come to pass,
Just our youth
Should not be a source of grief!

Lord Suetsune.
859

Right.
比べ來し振分髪のそのかみも終の思やなを遊びけん

kurabekoshi
furiwakegami no
sono kami mo
tsui no omoi ya
nao asobiken
We did match
Our hair, bunched on either side:
Back then,
That, at last, our passions would
Join – I wonder, did we know it?

Nobusada.
860

The Right state: the conception of youth is lacking. The Left state: the initial part simply resembles the original poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, from beginning to end, uses nothing but commonplace diction. The Right’s poem, too, really says nothing beyond the sense of its origin poem. The poems are of the same quality.

 

Love V: 5

Left (Tie).
言はぬ間は思ふも心九十九髪さは僞りの夢や見てまし

iwanu ma wa
omou mo kokoro
tukumogami
sa wa itsuwari no
yume ya mitemashi
While he’s said not a word,
If love in his heart
Arrived for my white hair,
Then a false dream
Would I see in truth?

Lord Kanemune.
849

Right.
戀初めし心の色に積む年は我黒髪に現れにけり

koi someshi
kokoro no iro ni
tsumu toshi wa
wa ga kurogami ni
arawarenikeri
Since I first awoke to love
The hues of passion in my heart by
The drifting years
Upon my raven tresses
Are made clear.

Nobusada.
850

The Right state: is this a reference to the recent poem ‘seeing a dream with white hair’ (yume o miru to mo tsukumogami)? The Left state: ‘drifting years’ (tsumu toshi) is grating on the ear.

In judgement: both poems refer to hair, and the Gentlemen of the Right have asked whether the Left are referring to a ‘recent poem’, and I wonder when this poem might have been composed? It is impossible to entirely avoid referring to poems which are not included in the anthologies. Needless to say, though, it is normal for one’s poems not to resemble others to a great extent. In addition, I do not feel that ‘drifting years’ is that grating on the ear. However, simply saying ‘Upon my raven tresses are made clear’ (wa ga kurogami ni arawarenikeri) does not convey a strong sense of gray hair, I think. Finally, the configuration of the Left’s ‘then a false dream’ (sa wa itsuwari no) is particularly unacceptable, I think. So, a tie.

 

Love IV: 30

Left (Win).
見し人のねくたれ髪の面影に涙かきやる小夜の手枕

mishi hito no
nekutare kami no
omokage ni
namida kakiyaru
sayo no tamakura
One I once loved:
Her sleep-tangled hair
Comes to mind, and
My tears drop upon
My pillowed arm this night.

A Servant Girl.
839

Right.
見せばやな夜床に積もる塵をのみあらましごとに拂ふ氣色を

miseba ya na
yodoko ni tsumoru
chiri o nomi
aramashi goto ni
harau keshiki o
Hoping to see him,
From my bed the piled
Dust at least,
Wishing it would be,
Sweeping away – that’s me!

Nobusada.
838

Left and Right both state there are no faults to indicate.

In judgement: even though both the Left’s ‘pillowed arm this night’ (sayo no tamakura) and the Right’s ‘dusty bed’ (yodoko no chiri) are elegant, the combination of ‘my tears drop upon my pillowed arm this night’ (namida kakiyaru sayo no tamakura) is particularly moving. The Left should win.

Love IV: 24

Left (Win).
戀詫びて我と眺めし夕暮も馴るれば人の形見がほなる

koiwabite
ware to nagameshi
yūgure mo
narureba hito no
katamigao naru
Suffering with love
I have gazed
Upon the evening dark,
So used to it that it
Has become your keepsake!

Lord Sada’ie.
827

Right.
明ぼののあはればかりは忍ぶれど今日をば出でず春の夕暮

akebono no
aware bakari wa
shinoburedo
kyō oba idezu
haru no yūgure
The dawn’s
Sadness, I do just
Bear, but, oh,
Today, it will never come –
The evening in springtime!

Nobusada.
828

The Right state: when one understands the purport of the Left’s poem, it comes as a revelation. The Left state: in the Right’s poem we are unable to grasp the sense of ‘it will never come’ (idezu). In addition, the conception of Love seems lacking.

In judgement: both poems ‘evenings’ are support by little diction, yet the conception of Love is profound, indeed, such that my own shallow knowledge finds it difficult to grasp. However, the Right’s ‘Today, it will never come’ (kyō oba idezu) certainly does seem difficult to comprehend. I would have to say that the Left’s ‘So used to it that it’ (narureba hito no) is marginally superior.