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Love VIII: 4

Left (Tie)
ももよ草百夜までなど頼めけむかりそめ臥しの榻のはしがき

momoyogusa
momoyo made nado
tanomekemu
karisome fushi no
shiji no hashigaki
A hundred nights upon the grass:
After a hundred nights, how
Can I trust we’ll meet?
Fitfully pillowed on
The scratches on my shaft stand…

Kenshō
1027

Right
逢事はいつといぶきの嶺に生ふるさしも絶せぬ思ひなりけり

au koto wa
itsu to ibuki no
mine ni ouru
sashimo taesenu
omoi narikeri
When will our meeting
Come? On Ibuki
Peak grows
Moxa, thus, endlessly
Burning, as do my fires of love.

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office
1028

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: it is difficult to grasp that there is nothing said from ‘when will it come? On Ibuki’ (itsu to ibuki). ‘Moza, thus’ (sashimo) does not fit with the end of the poem.

In judgement: I do wonder about the sound of beginning a poem with momoyogusa. Furthermore, originally, the ‘one hundred nights’ (momoyo) would be placed upon the shaft stand. ‘When on Ibuki grows moxa’ (itsu to ibuki no sashimo), too, just as with Inaba’s pines, places too much stress on the peak. The poems are of the same quality and tie.

MYS XVII: 4003

A poem with two envoys, composed in respectful response to Tachiyama.

朝日さし そがひに見ゆる 神ながら 御名に帯ばせる 白雲の 千重を押し別け 天そそり 高き立山 冬夏と 別くこともなく 白栲に 雪は降り置きて 古ゆ あり来にければ こごしかも 岩の神さび たまきはる 幾代経にけむ 立ちて居て 見れども異し 峰高み 谷を深みと 落ちたぎつ 清き河内に 朝さらず 霧立ちわたり 夕されば 雲居たなびき 雲居なす 心もしのに 立つ霧の 思ひ過ぐさず 行く水の 音もさやけく 万代に 言ひ継ぎゆかむ 川し絶えずは

asapi sasi
sogapi ni miyuru
kamu nagara
mina ni obasesu
sirakumo no
tipe wo osiwake
ama sosori
takaki tatiyama
puyu natu to
waku koto mo naku
sirotape ni
yuki pa puri okite
inisipe yu
arikinikereba
kogosikamo
ipa no kamusabi
tama kiparu
ikuyo penikemu
tatiwite
miredomo ayasi
minedakami
tani wo pukami to
otitagitu
kiyoki ka puti ni
asa sarazu
kiri tati watari
yupu sareba
kumowi tanabiki
kumowi nasu
kokoro mo sino ni
tatu kiri no
omopi sugusazu
yuku midu no
woto mo sayakeku
yoroduyo ni
ipitugi yukamu
kapa si taezu wa
The morning sun shines
At my back,and
Divine
Your great name links:
Clouds of white
In a thousand layers, you pierce, and
Tower into the heavens,
Tall Tachiyama!
In winter and, in summer both
Indistinguishably are you
Clad in mulberry white
Fallen drifts of snow;
Since ancient days
Ever has been your estate,
Fastened round with
Crags divine;
‘til all souls end
Have countless ages passed!
Standing here,
I see you, yet am awed by
Your lofty peak and
Valley’s deep, where
Plunge seething cataracts of
Waters pure to pools where
Morning never leaves –
Mists rise and roll across, and
When the evening comes
Clouds trail in and
Cover all,
Even, with sadness, my heart, so
The rising mists
Never leave my thoughts, and of
Your running waters’
Clear, pure sound
Through ten thousand ages
Will I ever tell
Unending as a river’s flow…

Ōtomo no Ikenushi
大伴池主

Love VI: 29

Left (Win).
忍びかね心の空に立つ煙見せばや富士の峰にまがへて

shinobikane
kokoro no sora ni
tatsu kemuri
miseba ya fuji no
mine ni magaete
I can bear no more:
Into the heavens of my heart
Smoke rises;
I would show her it is of Fuji’s
Peak an image!

A Servant Girl.
957

Right.
富士の嶺の煙も猶ぞ立のぼる上なき物は思ひなりけり

fuji no ne no
kemuri mo nao zo
tachinoboru
ue naki mono wa
omoi narikeri
The peak of Fuji:
Smoke yet
Rises there;
Higher than the highest is
My love.

Ietaka.
958

The Right state: we wonder about the meaning of ‘heavens of my heart’ (kokoro no sora). In reply, the Left: this is the same conception as the poem ‘into the heavens of my heart emerges the moon’. In reply, the Right: what is the point in using the smoke from Fuji as a metaphor? It seems as if the focus of the poem is the smoke. Furthermore, why have smoke rising in your heart without the smoke of passion? The Left state: the Right’s poem seems good.

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the competition seems to have sagaciously criticised the faults of the Left’s poem, but ‘I would show her it is of Fuji’s peak an image!’ (miseba ya fuji no mine ni magaete) is charming in configuration and diction. The Right’s poem, too, in the final section is elegant in configuration. However, I must make the Left the winner.

 

SIS VIII: 451

On a night when the Ise Vestal was conducting the Kōshin rite at the shrine in the fields, she composed this on the topic of the wind in the pines sounding a zither’s strings when blowing at night.

ことのねに峯の松風かよふらしいづれのをよりしらべそめけん

koto no ne ni
mine no matukaze
kayoFurasi
idure no wo yori
sirabe someken
The zither’s strains
With wind from pines atop the peak
Do sound;
Which string is it
That may start me on my way?

The Ise Vestal Consort 斎宮女御
[Princess Yoshiko/Kishi 徽子女王] (929-985)

Love V: 16

Left.
思ひこそ千島の奥を隔てねどえぞ通はさぬ壺の碑

omoi koso
chishima no oku o
hedatenedo
ezo kayowasanu
tsubo no ishibumi
My love
Has not the Thousand Islands
Barring it, yet
The barbarians cannot pass
The Stone at Tsubo – nor can I write to you!

Kenshō
871

Right (Win).
思ひやる心幾重の峰越えて信夫の奧を尋ね入るらん

omoiyaru
kokoro ikue no
mine koete
shinobu no oku o
tazuneiruran
Dwelling on you,
My heart numberless
Peaks will cross
To the depths of Shinobu,
Perhaps to visit someone hidden there?

Ietaka
872

As the previous round.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘Thousand Islands’ (chishima) is a familiar expression from the past, but I do not recall it being used in poetry. I am familiar with the Right’s ‘depths of Shinobu’ (shinobu no oku), so that is better. Again, the Right wins.

Love V: 13

Left (Tie).
行通ふ心の戀をしるべにてまだ見ぬ峰を幾重越ゆらん

yukikayou
kokoro no koi o
shirube nite
mada minu mine o
ikue koyuran
Crossing distances, with
Our hearts’ love
As a guide;
How many unseen peaks
Must I yet cross…

Lord Ari’ie.
865

Right.
尋ぬべき程を聞くにもいとゞしく心の道ぞまづ迷ひぬる

tazunubeki
hodo o kiku ni mo
itodoshiku
kokoro no michi zo
mazu mayoinuru
The distance I must travel:
When I ask how far it is,
More and more
Does my heart upon the path
Begin by wandering lost.

Lord Takanobu.
866

The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of the expression ‘our hearts’ love’ (kokoro no koi)? The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘our hearts’ love’ is something I am completely unaccustomed to hearing. The Right’s poem does have ‘my heart upon the path’ (kokoro no michi), but the use of ‘more and more’ (itodoshiku) means it is difficult to make it a winner. The round should tie.