Tag Archives: o

Love IX: 8

Left
恋妻はあらぬしらべしらべの琴の緒かあふことかたき音のみ絶えせぬ

koizuma wa
aranu shirabe no
koto no o ka
au koto kataki
ne nomi taesenu
My beloved wife:
Is it that untuned are
Our zithers’ strings?
So there is no harmony, and
Only my sobs are ceaseless…

Lord Suetsune
1095

Right (Win)
松風に通ふと聞きし琴の音も物思ふ時は身にぞしみける

matsukaze ni
kayou to kikishi
koto no ne mo
mono’omou toki wa
mi ni zo shimikeru
The wind in the pines
Resembles, I had heard,
A zither’s strains that, too,
When sunk in gloomy thought
Dye one so deeply…

Jakuren
1096

The Right state: saying ‘our zithers’ strings?’ (koto no o ka) is unsatisfactory. The Left state: if one is not depressed, would one not be deeply affected?

In judgement: the Left certainly sounds as if something is out of tune! The Right’s poem says that on hearing the wind pass through the pine trees, one would be affected. It sounds by no means distant from the topic. Thus, the Right wins.

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

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)

MYS XVI: 3815

A poem in reply.

白玉の緒絶えはまことしかれどもその緒また貫き人持ち去にけり

siratama no
wodae pa makoto
sikaredomo
sono wo mata nuki
pito moti’inikeri
The pearl’s
Strand broke, it’s true,
And yet
It has been threaded once more,
And is in another’s hands!

Of the above poem, it is said, ‘Once, there was a young woman. She was abandoned by her husband, and wed another man. At that time, a certain man, not knowing of her remarriage, sent a poem to her parents asking for her hand. So, her parents, realising the man did not know the details of the situation, sent this poem to him to inform him that their daughter had married once more.’