chidori naku sao no kawagiri tachinu nari mine no momiji no iro masarikeri Plovers cry, as The mists from the Sao River Have risen; On the peaks the scarlet leaves’ Hues are fine, indeed.
This poem is missing from the surviving texts of the competition.
natsuyama no mine no kozue no takakereba naku hototogisu koe kawaru kana The summer mountain Peaks have treetops So high, that The crying cuckoo’s Calls stand for them.
ōaraki no mori no shitagusa moriaite fukaku mo natsu no narinikeru kana In Ōaraki Forest the undergrowth Has grown so thick, that Deep summer is Surely here!
sazanami ya shiga no karasaki kaze saete hira no takane ni arare furunari Wavelets wash Karasaki in Shiga, and The wind is chill, so On the high peaks of Hira The hail must be falling.
The Hosshōji Lay Priest, former Chancellor and Palace Minister [Fujiwara no Tadamichi]
On summer trees, when His Majesty, the Former Emperor, ordered him to produce a thirty poem sequence.
niji no tatsu fumoto no sugi wa kumo ni kiete mine yori haruru yūdachi no ame A rainbow rises above Cedars in the foothills, Vanishing in the clouds Clearing from the peaks, With an evening shower of rain.
Former Senior Assistant Governor General of Dazai Toshikane
majikakute menareshi mi ni mo arifureba tōzakariyuku mine no shirakumo Close together and Familiar were we – that Is normal, when Growing ever distant are The white clouds o’er the peaks…
yamazakura wa ga mi ni kureba Farugasumi mine ni mo oni mo tachikakusitutu When mountain cherries Have I come to see, The haze of spring, Around the peaks, and foothills, too, Ever does arise to hide them…
The Path Across the Shiga Mountains (志賀山越)
harugasumi tanabiku yama no yama no i ni kage miru sae mo asamashiki kana Spring hazes Trail across the peaks, where In a mountain spring I glimpse a human form – How startling!
chishima no oku o
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!
kokoro ikue no
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?
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.
kokoro no koi o
mada minu mine o
ikue koyuran Crossing distances, with
Our hearts’ love
As a guide;
How many unseen peaks
Must I yet cross…
hodo o kiku ni mo
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.
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.