Tag Archives: night

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.

Love VIII: 25

Left
起きもゐで年ふる戀はをのづから常世の神やしるし見すべき

oki mo ide
toshi furu koi wa
onozukara
tokoyo no kami ya
shirushi misubeki
Unable to arise
From love these many years,
May I
By the eternal gods
Be shown a sign!

Kenshō
1069

Right (Win)
獨臥すながながし夜のかなしきを語らひあかすきりぎりす哉

hitori fusu
naganagashi yo no
kanashiki o
katarai akasu
kirigirisu kana
Lying alone,
So long, long the night’s
Sorrow;
Lightening it with chatter
Are the crickets!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1070

The Gentlemen of the Right state: what is the meaning of ‘the eternal gods’ (toko no kami). In appeal, the Left: in the Chronicles of Japan, insects are worshipped under the name of ‘the eternal gods’ and made to seem like men. The Left state: what can an insect chatter about?

In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, while it is true that insects were worshipped, a poem on ‘Love and Insects’ with no insect is lacking something from the start. This poem would seem to be more a case of ‘Love and Prayers’. Thus, this is nothing enduring. A prior example has been contrived, but this is ineffective. It does not seem as if this insect’s nature has any relation to the topic. The Right’s poem has a commonplace cricket. Where is the fault in having it lighten one’s mood with chatter? Thus, the Right must win.

Love VIII: 18

Left (Win)
鴨のゐる入江の浪を心にて胸と袖とにさはぐ戀かな

kamo no iru
irie no nami o
kokoro nite
mune to sode to ni
sawagu koi kana
Ducks flock on
The inlet’s waves
Within my heart, so
My breast and sleeves both
Are raucous with love!

Lord Sada’ie
1055

Right
佐保川の霧のまよひの程だにも妻もとむとて千鳥鳴夜を

saogawa no
kiri no mayoi no
hodo dani mo
tsuma motomu tote
chidori naku yo o
To the vernal river:
The mist brings confusion
And in its midst,
Seeking a mate,
A plover cries at night…

Jakuren
1056

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘my breast and sleeves both are raucous’ (mune to sode to ni sawagu)? The Left, in appeal, state: there is ‘the river-mouths of my sleeves’ (sode no minato) and ‘when I think, upon my breast’ (omoeba mune ni) so linking ‘breast’ and ‘sleeve’ is entirely uncontroversial. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we find no faults to mention in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: I understand the views of the Left’s poem held by both teams. It has also been said that the Right’s poem lacks faults. However, in ‘seeking a mate, a plover cries at night’ (tsuma motomu tote chidori naku yo o) only the two words ‘at night’ (yo o) have any conception of love. The remainder of the poem is simply about plovers, so there is little of love about it. ‘Breast and sleeves both’ (mune to sode to) should win.

Love VIII: 13

Left
時しもあれ空飛ぶ鳥の一聲も思ふ方より來てや鳴らん

toki shi mo are
sora tobu tori no
hitogoe mo
omou kata yori
kite ya naruran
Now, when I am wondering,
A bird, soaring through the skies,
Gives a single call;
From whence I love
Does it come, I wonder?

A Servant Girl
1045

Right (Win)
天の戸を明けぬと告ぐる鳥の音も獨寢る夜はさもあらばあれ

ama no to o
akenu to tsuguru
tori no ne mo
hitori neru yo wa
sa mo araba are
“The gates of Heaven
Are open!” announces
A cock’s crow, though
On a night spent sleeping alone,
It matters not at all…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office
1046

The Right state: what gives rise to the idea in the Left’s poem? The Gentlemen of the Left state: there are no faults we can find.

In judgement: what sort of bird is it that ‘soaring through the skies gives a single call’ (sora tobu tori no hitogoe)? I wonder if there is a suitable source for this? That being said, I doubt the Gentlemen of the Right’s point is pertinent. It has been stated that the Right’s poem lacks any faults. It must win.

Love VIII: 12

Left (Tie)
思ひかねうち寢る宵もありなまし吹だにすさめ庭の松風

omoikane
uchineru yoi mo
arinamashi
fuki dani susame
niwa no matsukaze
Unable to bear the pains of love, and
Dozing through the night –
That happens sometimes;
O, just blow gently,
Breeze through the garden pines!

A Servant Girl
1043

Right
思ひかねながむれば又夕日さす軒端の岡の松もうらめし

omoikane
nagamureba mata
yūhi sasu
nokiba no oka no
matsu mo urameshi
Unable to bear the pains of love,
When I gaze out, once more
The evening sun shines
Past my eaves, where on the hillside
Even the pines seem resentful…

Ietaka
1044

Same as the previous round.

In judgement: here we have ‘O, just blow gently’ (fuki dani susame), and the Right has ‘Past my eaves, where on the hillside’ (nokiba no oka no): these recollect the poems ‘in the depths of sleep I tread to you’ (uchinuru naka ni yukikayou) and ‘the beams strike the hillside through the pine needles’ (sasu ya okabe no  matsu no ha); both sound elegant. I make this round a tie.

Love VII: 30

Left (Win)
恋わたる夜はのさむしろ波かけてかくや待けん宇治の橋姫

koi wataru
yowa no samushiro
nami kakete
kaku ya machiken
uji no hashihime
Crossed in love
At night my mat of straw
Is washed by waves;
Is this how she waits,
The maid at Uji bridge.

A Servant Girl
1019

Right
いにしへの宇治の橋守身をつまば年経る恋を哀とも見よ

inishie no
uji no hashimori
mi o tsumaba
toshi furu koi o
aware tomo miyo
Ancient
Warden of Uji bridge,
If you pinch me,
How I have aged with love for you
Will you know, and pity me…

Jakuren
1020

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

In judgement: the style of both the Left’s ‘maid at Uji bridge’ (uji no hashihime) and the Right’s ‘Warden of Uji bridge’ (uji no hashimori) is pleasant, and the Left’s ‘Is this how she waits, the maid at Uji bridge’ (kaku ya machiken uji no hashihime) draws on the conception of a tale from long ago, and the configuration also seems deeply moving. Thus, the Left should win.

Love VII: 29

Left.
葛城や久米路の橋にあらねども絶えぬる中は渡る物かは

kazuragi ya
kumeji no hashi ni
aranedomo
taenuru naka wa
wataru mono ka wa
At Kazuragi
The bridge of Kumeji
It is not, yet
Can a relationship that’s done
Ever continue on?

Lord Suetsune
1017

Right (Win).
葛城や渡しもはてぬ岩橋も夜の契はありとこそ聞け

kazuragi ya
watashi mo hatenu
iwabashi mo
yoru no chigiri wa
ari to koso kike
At Kazuragi lies
The unfinished
Bridge of stone:
A vow at night
There was, I hear!

Ietaka
1018

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

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘the bridge of Kazuragi, while the Left has ‘a relationship that’s done’ (taenuru naka). As the bridge, from the very beginning, was never finished, it is not appropriate to say that it is ‘done’. ‘A vow at night’ (yoru no chigiri) seems to be referring to Kodaigimi’s ‘cannot endure’ (taenubeshi). The Right has certainly matched the conception of the bridge. Thus, I make the Right the winner.

Love VII: 21

Left.
夜を重ね心の関のかたきかなわが音は鳥の空音ならねば

yo o kasane
kokoro no seki no
kataki kana
wa ga ne wa tori no
sorane naraneba
Night upon night
The barriers upon your heart
Stand firm, indeed!
For the sounds I make are no cock’s
False crow!

Lord Ari’ie
1001

Right (Win).
人知れぬうらみにあまる浪の上を抑ふる袖や須磨の関守

hito shirenu
urami ni amaru
nami no ue o
osauru sode ya
suma no sekimori
She cannot know
The prospect of my despair;
Dashed upon the waves
Are my sleeves
Barrier Wardens at Suma?

Jakuren
1002

The Right state: why specifically refer to a ‘false crow’ (sorane)? This makes it sound as if the barrier would not be opened for a real bird’s cry. In response, the Left: as there is the precedent of a barrier being opened in response to a false crow, the poem draws upon this to refer to ‘the sounds I make’ (wa ga ne) – we fail to see why this is problematic. The Left state: we find no faults in need of identification in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: it seems difficult to distinguish between ‘the sounds I make’ and the ‘false crow’ in the Left’s poem, and the Right’s ‘dashed upon the waves are my sleeves’ (osauru sode) is pleasant. Thus, the Right wins.

Minbukyō yukihira no uta’awase 4

Left
月夜には手倉の山の時鳥声も隠れぬ物にざりける

tukiyo ni Fa
tekura no yama no
Fototogisu
kowe mo kakurenu
mono ni zarikeru
On a moonlit night
On Tekura Mountain that
The cuckoo
Does conceal his call
Is not true at all…

7

Right (Win)
住む里は篠部をの森の時鳥木の下声ぞ標なりける

sumu sato Fa
sinobe no mori no
Fototogisu
ko no sita kowe zo
sirube narikeru
To my dwelling
In Shinobe Forest are
The cuckoo
Calls beneath the trees
A signpost.

8