Tag Archives: koromode

Love VII: 19

Left.
逢ふ事は苗代水を引き止めて通しはてぬや小山田の關

au koto wa
nawashiro mizu o
hikitomete
tōshihatenu ya
oyamada no seki
Can a meeting, like
The waters round the rice seedlings
Be stopped
In their endless flow
Past the Oyamada Barrier?

Kenshō
997

Right (Win).
衣手は清見が關にあらねども絶ゆるよもなき涙也けり

koromode wa
kiyomi ga seki ni
aranedomo
tayuru yo mo naki
namida narikeri
My sleeves as
The Barrier at Kiyomi
Are not, yet
Without cease
Are my tears…

Lord Tsune’ie.
998

The Right state: we are unfamiliar with the expression ‘Oyamada Barrier’ (oyamada no seki). The Left state: it sounds as if it is tears that are ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is stylistically tasteful, but with only ‘can a meeting, like the waters round the rice seedlings’ (au koto wa nawashiro mizu) the conception of love is weak is it not? The Right’s poem metaphorically has tears ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi, and with the ta present, I accept the Left’s point to a certain extent, but this type of thing is not unusual in metaphorical poems.  In addition, there is little reason to imagine the waters round the rice-seedlings being blocked. As it has a stronger focus on Love, the Right wins.

Love I: 19

Left.

なかなかにみるめばかりは難くとも遂にあふみの海と頼めよ

nakanaka ni
mirume bakari wa
katakutomo
tsui ni aumi no
umi to tanomeyo
‘Tis not enough to
Merely catch a glimpse of you;
‘Tis hard, but
Finally for a meeting
By the sea must be my hope.

Lord Ari’ie.

637

Right (Win).

漁り火のほの見てしより衣手に磯邊の浪の寄せぬ日ぞなき

isaribi no
honomiteshi yori
koromode ni
isobe no nami no
yosenu hi zo naki
Since by fisher fires
Dim light I glimpsed you,
Upon my sleeves
Waves upon a rocky shore
Have broken, every day.

Lord Tsune’ie.

638

Both teams say the other team’s poem sounds ‘extremely cliched’ [furikusaritari].

Shunzei’s judgement: ‘The gentlemen of both sides have stated that the opposing poem sounds clichéd. This is, indeed, a most perceptive judgement! Poems which use non-standard poetic diction [utakotoba ni mo aranu utadomo] often sound clichéd, do they not? However, given that the Left concludes ‘for a meeting by the sea must be my hope’ (aumi no umi to tanomeyo), it was unnecessary to mention mirume being difficult to obtain. Simply saying that it would be ‘absent’ [nashi] is what would be clichéd, surely? In any case, isaribi seems slightly superior.

Winter II: 6

Left (Tie).

雲深き嶺の朝明けのいかならん槇の戸白む雪の光に

kumo fukaki
mine no asake no
ika naran
maki no to shiramu
yuki no hikari ni
Deep within the clouds,
Morning to the peaks must come,
But how? I wonder,
With whitening round my cedar door,
Brightened by the snow…

A Servant Girl.

551

Right.

眺めやる衣手寒し有明の月より殘る峰の白雪

nagameyaru
koromode samushi
ariake no
tsuki yori nokoru
mine no shirayuki
Gazing on,
How chill my sleeves;
The dawntime
Moon will linger less than
The snowfall on the peaks…

Jakuren.

552

Both teams say they find the other’s poem moving.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem has ‘deep snow’ (yuki fukaki), ‘whitening round my cedar door’ (maki no to shiramu), and the Right has ‘the dawntime moon will linger less than’ (ariake no tsuki yori nokoru) – the conception and diction of both are splendid [kokoro kotoba tomo ni yoroshiku koso haberumere]. It seems to me that is exactly how winter mornings are. Thus, it is difficult to say which is better. This must be a good tie [yoki ji].

Autumn I: 3

Left (Tie).

秋風の吹も強らぬ眞葛原夏の氣色に猶かへる哉

aki kaze no
fuki mo tsuyoranu
makuzuwara
natsu no keshiki ni
nao kaeru kana
The autumn wind
Blows with such little strength that
The field of arrowroot
To its summer scene
Has yet returned.

Lord Ari’ie.

305

Right (Tie).

秋來てもまだひとへなる衣手に厭はぬ程の風ぞ吹なる

aki kitemo
mada hitoenaru
koromode ni
itowanu hodo no
kaze zo fukunaru
Autumn has come, and yet
For my still single-layered
Sleeves
There is no respite in
The breath of wind

Ietaka.

306

The Right state, ‘The expression “little strength” (tsuyoranu) is particularly grating on the ear.’ The Left respond, ‘And what are we really to make of the expression, “no respite in the breath of wind” (itowanu hodo no kaze)? Even in “O, blow my cares away,/First breeze of Autumn!” (kokorosite Fuke aki no Fatukaze), one does not get a sense of dislike for the wind. Furthermore, the core sense of the poem seems inappropriately chilly for the topic.’

Shunzei’s judgement is that, ‘the criticisms of both teams have merit. The Left’s “little strength” is as stated. As for the spirit of the Right’s poem, does not “O, blow my cares away” (kokorosite Fuke) mean that the coolness brings no respite? While the spirit of “Lingering Heat” certainly contains the key sense that things have become slightly cooler, as I said in the last round. In any case, this round is a tie.’

Winter 49

Left (Tie).

神さびていはふ御室の年ふりて猶ゆふかくる松の白雪

kamusabite
iwau mimuro no
toshi furite
nao yū kakuru
matsu no shirayuki
Upon the hallowed,
Celebrated shrine
Year piles on year;
Even now sacred cords hang,
Like snow upon the pines.

97

Right

ながめやる衣手さむく降雪にゆふやみしらぬ山の端の月

nagameyaru
koromode samuku
furu yuki ni
yūyami shiranu
yama no ha no tsuki
Gazing into space
My sleeves grow chill
With fallen snow;
The dark of night is all unknown,
The moon on the distant mountains’ edge.

98