Tag Archives: koma

Love VIII: 22

Left (Win)
唐国の虎臥す野邊に入るよりもまどふ戀路の末ぞあやうき

karakuni no
tora fusu nobe ni
iru yori mo
madou koiji no
sue zo ayauki
In far Cathay are
Meadows where tigers lie,
But rather than entering there,
The confusing paths of love
Are, at the end, more dangerous…

Lord Ari’ie
1063

Right
我宿は人もかれ野の淺茅原通ひし駒の跡もとゞめず

wa ga yado wa
hito mo kareno no
asajiwara
kayoishi koma no
ato mo todomezu
At my home
Is only a withered field
Of cogon grass;
The mount who once did cross it
Has left no lingering tracks…

Ietaka
1064

The Gentlemen of the Right state: how can love be dangerous? The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: saying that the ‘paths of love are, at the end’ (koiji no sue) dangerous is perfectly commonplace. ‘Is only a withered field of cogon grass’ (hito mo kareno no asajiwara) seems to simply have taken the poem ‘Sedge fields lie / Around the estate of Fushimi, / All long overgrown; / He who passed across them / Has left no tracks at all…’ and swapped in ‘mount who once did cross it’ (kayoishi koma). Changing a man into a mount is discomposing, indeed. Again, the Left should win.

Love VIII: 20

Left (Tie)
いかにしてつれなき中を渡るべき足の音もせぬ駒のありとも

ika ni shite
tsurenaki naka o
watarubeki
ashi no oto mo senu
koma no aritomo
How, indeed,
To one so heartless
Can I make my way across?
Even a silent-footed
Steed had I to ride…

Lord Suetsune
1059

Right (Win)
道遠み妹がりがりいそぐその駒に草取り飼はんなづみもぞする

michi tōmi
imogari isogu
sono koma ni
kusa torikawan
nazumi mo zo suru
Long is the road
To go swiftly seek my darling, so
For my steed
I’ll go gather grasses
That he not tire along the way…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1060

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of making one’s way across when there is no ‘bridge’? The Gentlemen of the Left state: there are no faults to indicate in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: the gentleman of the Left has composed his poem referring to the conception of the Man’yō poem ‘A silent-footed / Colt I’d have: / In Kashitsuka, / The clapper bridge at Mama / To ceaselessly traverse!’, but must have misplaced the bridge somewhere. Truly, I do wonder how it is possible to make one’s way across in the absence of a bridge. Although to say ‘for my steed I’ll go gather grasses’ (sono koma ni kusa torikawan) is something commonplace, doing it to prevent one’s mount getting tired, despite the length of the journey, seems better than lacking a bridge.

Sanboku kikashū VIII: 1223

Love and Horse Hair.

隙もあらばをぐろに立てる青鷺のこまごまとこそ言はまほしけれ

Fima mo araba
woguro ni tateru
awosagi no
komagoma to koso
iFamahosikere
Were there but space,
As perching on the paddy-ridges
Are the grey herons close
As the mounts ahead, in such detail
Would I tell you of my love.

Minamoto no Toshiyori
源俊頼

Love III: 19

Left.
引かへて荒き氣色をみだらおのこまごまとこそ恨かけつれ

hikikaete
araki keshiki o
midarao no
komagoma to koso
uramikaketure
You have changed, and
Dishevelled in appearance
As a piebald
Colt, you are not, yet
I hate you still!

Kenshō
757

Right (Win).
露しげき秋の野も狭の眞葛原いつまでよその物と聞きけん

tsuyu shigeki
aki no no mo se no
makuzubara
itsu made yoso no
mono to kikiken
Dew drenched,
The autumn field is all
Covered with kuzu,
For how long will such distant
Whispers reach me?

Lord Takanobu
758

The Right state: the Left’s poem sounds pretentious. We are also unable to accept the use of ‘colt, you are not’ (komagoma). The Left state: the Right’s poem sounds archaic.

In judgement: ‘Dishevelled in appearance as a piebald’ (araki keshiki o midarao) is entirely unacceptable style. As for ‘covered with kuzu’, while ‘field is all’ (no mo se) is also undesirable, the final section is elegant. It should win over ‘piebald’.

Winter II: 1

Left.

山里は朝川渡る駒の音に瀬々の氷の程を知るかな

yamazato wa
asakawa wataru
koma no oto ni
seze no kōri no
hodo o shiru kana
Dwelling in the mountains,
Crossing the river in the morning,
The horses’ footfalls
Upon the ice within the shallows
Tells to me its depth…

Kenshō.

541

Right (Win).

谷河の氷るだにある山里に人も音せぬ今朝の白雪

tanikawa no
kōru dani aru
yamazato ni
hito mo oto senu
kesa no shirayuki
The streamlet,
Even, has frozen
At my mountain home;
No folks’ footfalls
On this snow-white morning…

Ietaka.

542

The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left just remark that the Right’s use of ‘even’ (dani aru) is ‘poor’ [yokarazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: Despite the Left starting their poem with ‘dwelling in the mountains’ (yamazato wa), even if it is on a winter morning, where must it take place? It must be at a riverside estate, or village. In addition, the only element of the conception of morning, is ‘crossing the river in the morning’ (asa kawa wataru). I do wonder about the sound of ‘even, has frozen’ (kōri dani aru), but the snow in the morning is more moving and charming [aware mo okashiku mo] than the Left’s mere sound of horses’ hooves on ice, so the Right’s is the better poem.