Tag Archives: kemuri

Summer II: 15

Left (Tie).

蚊遣火の煙いぶせき賤の庵にすゝけぬ物は夕顔の花

kayaribi no
kemuri ibuseki
shizu no io ni
susukenu mono wa
yūgao no hana
Mosquito smudge fires’
Fumes fill the dreary
Peasant’s hut; but
Untouched by soot are
The moonflower blooms.

Lord Suetsune.

269

Right (Tie).

煙立つ賤が庵か薄霧のまがきに咲ける夕顔の花

kemuri tatsu
shizu no iori ka
usugiri no
magaki ni sakeru
yūgao no hana
Is this smoke rising from
The peasants’ huts?
Faintly misted
Blooming on the rough-hewn fence
Are moonflowers…

Ietaka.

270

The Right have no criticisms to make this round. The Left simply say the phrase ‘huts? Faintly misted’ (iori ka usugiri) ‘stands out’.

Again, Shunzei is blunt: ‘The Left’s “untouched by soot” (susukenu) and the Right’s “faintly misted” (usugiri) are both equally poor. The round should tie.’

Spring II: 11

Left.

武蔵野に雉も妻やこもるらんけふの煙の下に鳴なり

musashino ni
kigisu mo tsuma mo ya
komoruran
kyō no kemuri no
shita ni nakunari
Upon Musashi Plain
Is the cock pheasant’s hen, also,
Concealed?
For today from beneath
The smoke come plaintive cries…

A Servant Girl.

81

Right (Win).

妻戀のきゞす鳴なり朝霞晴るればやがて草隱れつゝ

tsuma koi no
kigisu nakunari
asa kasumi
harureba yagate
kusagakuretsutsu
Longing for his hen
The pheasant calls;
When morning’s haze
Has cleared, how swiftly
He hides among the grass.

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

82

The Right comment that the Left’s poem resembles Minamoto no Yorimasa’s poem:

霞をや煙と見えん武蔵野に妻もこもれる雉鳴くなり

kasumi wo ya
kemuri to mien
musasino ni
tuma mo komoreru
kigisu nakunari
The haze
Does seem as smoke;
On Musashino Plain
With his hen hidden
A pheasant calls.

The Left snap back that as Yorimasa’s poem is not included in the imperial anthologies, they could not have seen it, and in any case, what sort of criticism is it to say that it ‘resembles Yorimasa’s poem?’ As for the Right’s poem, ‘do pheasants always hide in the grass come the morning?’

Shunzei comments that it is ‘a bit much’ to avoid Yorimasa’s poem altogether. Although he does then go on to say that ‘there’s no reason to strong arm in examples’ of poems not in the imperial anthologies. However, ‘what’s the point’ of associating ‘today’ (kyō) so strongly with ‘smoke’ (kemuri)? (It was supposed to be used only for particular days, such as the first day of spring.) In the Right’s poem ‘When morning’s haze/Has cleared, how swiftly’ (asa kasumi/harureba yagate) ‘has nothing needing criticism about it’, so the their poem is superior this round.

Spring II: 10

Left (Tie).

煙立つ片山きゞす心せよ裾野の原に妻もこもれり

kemuri tatsu
katayama kigisu
kokoro seyo
susono no hara ni
tsuma mo komoreri
Smoke is rising
From the mountain slopes, O Pheasant,
Beware!
In the meadows on the mountain’s skirts,
Does your wife lie hidden…

Lord Ari’ie

79

Right (Tie).

燒捨てし枯野の跡やかすむらん煙にかへるきゞす鳴也

yaki suteshi
kareno no ato ya
kasumuran
kemuri ni kaeru
kigisu naku nari
Left to burn,
All sign of the sere fields
Seems lost in haze;
Returning to the smoke
A pheasant calls…

Ietaka

80

The Right have no particular remarks to make about the Left’s poem this round, while the Left say that they understand the general import of the Right’s poem, but are ‘unable to grasp’ the sense of ‘Returning to the smoke’ (kemuri ni kaeru) (that is, why a pheasant would do it).

Shunzei merely adds that ‘the smoke in both poems prevents one from seeing very far’, so there is no clear winner and the round must be a tie.