Tag Archives: kusa

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.

Love VIII: 17

Left
山鳥のはつおの鏡掛けねども見し面影に音は泣かれけり

yamadori no
hatsuo no kagami
kakenedomo
mishi omokage ni
ne wa nakarekeri
A mountain pheasant’s
Tail of hempen cord this mirror
Does not suspend, yet
The face I saw there once
Makes me weep out loud…

Kenshō
1053

Right (Win)
面影をほの三嶋野に尋ぬれば行衛知られぬ鵙の草ぐき

omokage o
hono mishimano ni
tazunureba
yukue shirarenu
mozu no kusaguki
Her face
I did but briefly see at Mishimano
When I visited there;
I know not where has gone
The shrike hiding in the grasses.

Lord Takanobu
1054

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of combining ‘Mishima Plain’ (mishimano) with ‘the shrike hiding in the grasses (mozu no kusaguki). Is there a poem as a precedent for this? If not, is it suitable?

In judgement: both poems have the conception of love: of imagining the pheasant and his mirror, and weeping at the memory of a lover’s face; and thinking of the shrike hiding in the grasses, visiting Mishima Plain, and recalling the past. However, what should we do about the matter of whether there is a precedent poem for ‘the shrike hiding in the grasses’ on Mishima Plain? Surely, it could be any plain, so there is no reason not to use this. The configuration of ‘I know not where has gone’ (yukue shirarenu) sounds better than that of ‘makes me weep out loud’ (ne wa nakarekeri). The Right, again, must win, I think.

 

Love VIII: 1

Left (Win)
忘らるゝ人に軒端の忍ぶ草涙の雨ぞ露けかりける

wasuraruru
hito ni nokiba no
shinobugusa
namida no ame zo
tsuyukekarikeru
Forgotten by
Him, beneath my eaves
The ferns bring back memories;
A rain of tears
Leaves them dew-drenched.

Lord Kanemune
1021

Right
戀づまのやがて軒端になり行けばいとど忍ぶの草ぞ茂れる

koizuma no
yagate nokiba ni
nariyukeba
itodo shinobu no
kusa zo shigereru
My man is
Far away; beneath my eaves
Are the signs:
How many memories and
Ferns grow thickly…

Lord Tsune’ie
1022

Both Left and Right state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘memory ferns’ (shinobugusa), and there is not a great deal of difference in quality between them, but the Left’s ‘rain of tears’ (namida no ame), with its association of dew, is slightly better than the Right’s ‘ferns grow thickly’ (kusa zo shigereru), and so should win.

MYS II: 153

A poem by Her Majesty, the Dowager Empress.

鯨魚取り 近江の海を 沖放けて 漕ぎ来る船 辺付きて 漕ぎ来る船 沖つ櫂 いたくな撥ねそ 辺つ櫂 いたくな撥ねそ 若草の 夫の 思ふ鳥立つ

isana tori
opomi no umi wo
oki sakete
kogikitaru pune
pe tu kite
kogikuru pune
oki tu kai
itaku na pane so
pe tu kai
itaku na pane so
wakakusa no
tuma no
omopu tori tatu
In the whale-hunting
Sea of Ōmi
From far off in the offing
Boats come rowing;
Nearing the shore,
Boats come rowing;
Off in the offing, oars
Beat not so hard!
By the shore, oars
Beat not so hard!
A fresh blade of grass –
My husband’s
Beloved birds you’ll start to flight!

Yamato Hime no Ōkimi
倭皇后

Minbukyō yukihira no uta’awase 9

Left
明けぬ間に箱根の山の時鳥二声とだに鳴き渡るらむ

akenu ma ni
Fakone no yama no
Fototogisu
Futakowe to dani
nakiwataruramu
Before the dawn no
Hakone Mountain
Cuckoos’
Twin calls simply
Seem to sing back and forth

17

Right (Win)
深山出でていづこも旅ぞ時鳥ここにを結べ草の枕は

miyama idete
iduko mo tabi zo
Fototogisu
koko ni wo musube
kusa no makura wa
Emerging from the mountains’ depths
Where does your journey take you,
O, cuckoo?
Here will I twine strands
Of grass for my pillow…

18

GSS XVIII: 1281

When he drew the topic of dew, when people were composing poetry on randomly selected topics at the residence of the Minister of the Left.

我ならぬ草葉もものは思ひけり袖より外におけるしらつゆ

aFare naranu
kusaba mo mono Fa
omoFikeri
sode yori Foka ni
okeru siratuyu
Not only I, but
All the grassy leaves
Are sunk in gloomy thought
For in places other than my sleeves
Fall silver dewdrops.

Fujiwara no Tadakuni
藤原忠国