Tag Archives: kiri

GSIS VI: 388

Composed on plovers for a poetry competition in Eishō 4 [1050].


saFogaFa no
kiri no anata ni
naku tidori
kowe Fa Fedatenu
mono ni zo arikeru
The River Sao:
Mist rises, and from beyond
Come plover cries,
Their calls uninterrupted
By anything.

The Horikawa Minister of the Right [Fujiwara no Yorimune]

Autumn II: 23

Left (Win).


izukata e
hane kaku shigi no
mada akeyaranu
kiri no mayoi ni
From where is it that
The snipes’ wing-beats
Do come?
With no daybreak yet,
They are lost amidst the mists…

Lord Kanemune.




honoka ni mo
shigi no haoto zo
nokoro koto naki
aki no nezame ni
Snipes’ wing-beats
Do I hear;
A flurry of thoughts
On waking in autumn…



Neither Left nor Right has any criticisms to make this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: Although both poems seem without fault, ‘a flurry of thoughts’ (nokoru koto naki) suggests all the sorrows of autumn, but the initial part of the poem states that all the poet can hear is the snipes’ wing-beats – and nothing else – so there is a disagreement in what the poem is expressing. I do wonder about the initial line of the Left’s poem, but it should win.

Autumn II: 18

Left (Win).


yama tōki
kadota no sue wa
kiri harete
honami ni shizumu
ariake no tsuki
By the distant mountains,
At the farthest reach of fields before my gates,
The mists are clearing, and
Sinking amongst the waves of rice-ears is
The dawntime moon…

A Servant Girl.




honomeku kage mo
inaba no kaze wa
sode ni kayoite
The autumn evening moon’s
Faint light is
Moving, indeed;
The wind upon the rice-stalks
Passing o’er my sleeves…

Lord Takanobu.


The Right simply say that the Left’s poem is ‘good’. The Left have no criticisms of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘dawntime moon’ (ariake no tsuki) and the Right’s ‘early evening moon’ are both deeply moving; the Left, continuing with ‘at the farthest reach of fields before my gates, the mists are clearing’ (kadota no sue wa kiri harete) is particularly fine, I feel. ‘Sinking amongst the waves of rice-ears’ (honami ni shizumu) is certainly technically proficient, and yet lacks a certain profundity. And yet, the initial ‘By the distant mountains’ (yama tōki) show a true depth. It should win.

Autumn II: 7

Left (Win).


aki wa nao
kiri no nabiki ni
shika nakite
hana mo tsuyukeki
yū narikeri
It truly is autumn –
Through the fluttering mist
Comes the belling of a stag, and
The blooms, too, are dew-drenched
At even time…

Lord Kanemune.




aware o ba
ika ni seyo tote
iriai no
koe uchi souru
shika no ne naran
More sad
Than this there’s nothing!
The evening bell
Tolling, accompanied by
The belling of a stag.

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right wonder, ‘In the expression “the blooms, too”, what does the “too” (mo) connect with? In addition, simply finishing the poem “At even time” (yū narikeri) shows a lack of conception.’ The Left counter that, ‘In the Right’s poem, expressions such as “more sad” (aware o ba) and “the belling of a stag” (shika no ne naran) are feeble. In addition, what of having iriai (“evening [bell]”), without explicitly including “bell” (kane)?’

Shunzei’s judgement: While I do wonder about the expression, ‘at even time’, with the inclusion of ‘too’ in the phrase ‘the blooms, too’, there is the impression of unspoken emotional overtones to the poem. The configuration of the first phrase, too, is particularly tasteful. As for the Right’s poem, it is not the case that iriai must always be accompanied by kane (‘bell’) – one can hear the bell in the phrase. However, overall, the Left’s poem gives a stronger impression, and so wins.

SKKS V: 534

An Autumn poem from a hundred poem sequence she presented.


kiri no ha mo
kanarazu hito o
matsu to nakeredo
The paulownia leaves
Have become, you know.
Not there is anyone
I’m waiting for, you understand!

Princess Shokushi