Tag Archives: kumo

Ietaka-kyō hyakuban jika’awase 1

Left. Spring
あら玉の年もかはらぬふるさとの雪のうちにも春はきにけり

aratama no
toshi mo kawaranu
furusato no
yuki no uchi ni mo
haru wa kinikeri
To the fresh jeweled
Year the change has yet to come, yet
Around my familiar home
Even within the snows
The spring is here!

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Ninnaji gojūshu, Kenkyū 1 [1190]

Right
冬ながら花ちる空のかすめるは雲のこなたに春やきつらむ

fuyu nagara
hana chiru sora no
kasumeru wa
kumo no konata ni
haru ya kitsuramu
It’s winter now, yet
Are the blossom-scattering skies
Hazed
Beneath the clouds by
The arrival of spring, perhaps?

2

Love VIII: 26

Left
さりともと待べき程の情かは人頼めなる蛛のふるまゐ

sari tomo to
matsubeki hodo no
nasake ka wa
hito tanomenaru
kumo no furumai
However faint, I thought,
Through all my waiting hours
Were his feelings,
He can be trusted,
Says the spider’s spinning!

Lord Ari’ie
1071

Right (Win)
はかなくぞさもあらましに待たれぬる頼めぬ宵の蜘蛛のふるまゐ

hakanaku zo
sa mo aramashi ni
matarenuru
tanomenu yoi no
kumo no furumai
Fleeting, but
So be it, then, I thought,
Awaiting;
How unreliable is this night’s
Spider’s spinning…

Lord Takanobu
1072

Left and Right together: both poems are about spiders, and have no faults to mention.

In judgement: both poems seem elegant in their reference to ‘spider’s spinning’ (kumo no furumai). However, the Left’s central section recalls ‘Men are not trees or stone – they have feelings’ – while this is elegant diction in Chinese composition, it does not seem so in our own poetry. The Right’s ‘so be it then, I thought’ (sa mo aramashi) is fine, but ‘unreliable is this night’ (tanomenu yoi) sounds as if the night is already over. Princess Sotōri, too, has ‘must surely come tonight’ (kubeki yoi nari), but then appears to have ‘a certain sign’ (kanete shirushi mo). Still, this is surely describing a situation where one once had doubts, but feel that tonight is reliable. The Right is slightly superior.

Minbukyō yukihira no uta’awase 5

Left (Tie)
仄かなる声を聞きては時鳥鳴きつる方をまづぞ求むる

Fonokanaru
kowe wo kikite Fa
Fototogisu
nakituru kata wo
madu zo motomuru
Your faint
Song I do hear
O, cuckoo,
Along the path you call
Am I in truth invited.

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Right
小夜更けぬ布留の都の 時鳥帰る雲路の声を聞かせよ

sayo Fukete
Furu no miyako no
Fototogisu
kaFeru kumodi no
kowe wo kikaseyo
The brief night dawns
At the ancient capital of Furu;
O, cuckoo
From your homeward path among the clouds
Let me hear your song!

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