Tag Archives: peasants

Autumn II: 16

Left (Tie).

秋田守る賤が庵に宿からんさても此世は過ぬべき身ぞ

akita moru
shizu ga iori ni
yado karan
satemo kono yo wa
suginubeki mi zo
The autumn paddies warding,
A peasant’s hut – there
Will I find lodging;
And thus, within this world
Will I be able to spend my time!

Lord Kanemune.

391

Right (Tie).

深からぬ山田の庵も秋はなを心のはては見つべかりけり

fukakaranu
yamada no io mo
aki wa nao
kokoro no hate wa
mitsubekarikeri
Not deep at all within
The mountain paddies is this hut, yet
Autumn, still,
My heart, to the brim,
Does fill…

Ietaka.

392

The Right complain that the Left’s poem ‘appears to be expressing somewhat outré sentiments’. The Left state on the other hand that the Right’s poem is ‘not bad’.

Shunzei’s judgement: the type of emotional import expressed in the Left’s poem is superlative. In The Tales of Ise, after all, there is the section on ‘gathering fallen ears of rice’ – most charming! To say that this is outré suggests a deficiency of understanding. The Right’s poem, too, conveys an emotional message. I must wonder about the use of ‘Not deep at all within’ (fukakaranu), but still, the round should tie.

Autumn II: 6

Left (Tie).

小雨降る葛飾早稲を刈るまゝに民の袖さへうるほひにけり

kosame furu
katsushika wase o
karu mama ni
tami no sode sae
uruoinikeri
Showers fall in
Katsushika; early ripened rice
Reaping,
Even the peasants’ sleeves
Are damp.

Kenshō.

371

Right (Tie).

小萩咲く片山陰に日晩の鳴すさびたる村雨のそら

kohagi saku
katayamakage ni
higurashi no
nakisu sabitaru
murasame no sora
Bush clover blooming
In the mountain’s shade;
The sundown cicadas
Sing intermittently
To the showery skies.

Jakuren.

372

Neither team has any criticisms to make.

Shunzei say, ‘The style and construction of both poems is superb, though the Left’s is particularly archaic in tone, and thus using mama ni in the central section is somewhat weak, is it not? Surely, “Whilst reaping” (karu nae ni) would have been a better fit! The Right’s simple conclusion of “showery skies” (murasame no sora) is particularly effective. However, the Left, too, with “even the peasants’ sleeves” (tami no sode sae) shows a fine spirit. The two poems are a match and tie.’

Autumn I: 27

Left.

跡もなく今朝は野分に成にけりしどろに見えし素児が竹墻

ato mo naku
kesa wa nowaki ni
narinikeri
shidoro ni mieshi
sugo ga takegaki
Not a trace remains, after
This morning, when the gales
Came, of
The jumbled sight of
Peasants’ bamboo fences.

Lord Suetsune.

353

Right (Win).

思やるわが心まで萎れきぬ野分する夜の花の色いろ

omoiyaru
wa ga kokoro made
shiborekinu
nowakisuru yoru no
hana no iroiro
Pondering,
Even my heart
Has faded, following
A night of galing,
With the blossoms’ myriad hues…

Jakuren.

354

The Right remark tersely that the Left’s poem is ‘just about “peasants’ bamboo fences” (sugo ga takegaki)’, while the Left reply, ‘and what about “galing” (nowakisuru)?’

Shunzei’s judgement is that ‘the Right’s poem is not bad in form [utazama wa ashikarazaru], but “Gales” must be composed about the wind blowing upon the many blooms on the plains, and to think that the wind would go so far as to cause damage to “peasants’ bamboo fences” is inappropriate. In the Right’s poem, “galing” does not seem a particular fault. By including “even my heart” (wa ga kokoro made) a link is formed between blossoms and emotions [kokoro ni aru ni nitarubeshi]. The Right’s poem has the essence of the topic [hon’i naru ya], does it not? It must win.’

Autumn I: 14

Left (Tie).

稲妻の光にのみやなぐさめむ田中の里の夕闇の空

inazuma no
hikari ni nomi ya
nagusamemu
tanaka no sato no
yūyami no sora
Is it lightning’s
Light alone, that
Can console?
Dwelling among the rice-fields
Beneath the blackened evening sky.

Kenshō.

327

Right (Tie).

賤の男が山田の庵の苫を粗み漏る稲妻を友とこそ見れ

shitsu no o ga
yamada no io no
toma o arami
moru inazuma o
tomo to koso mire
A peasant in
The mountain fields, whose hut has
A rough roof of straw:
The lightning dripping in
Seems his single friend.

Lord Tsune’ie.

328

As with the previous round, neither team can find fault with the other’s poem.

Shunzei, however, says, ‘The initial part of the Left’s poem is fine, indeed, but one wonders where the “dwelling among the rice fields” (tanaka no sato) is. I wonder whether nowadays poets can simply refer to a house among the rice fields. I do seem to have heard it before, but for the life of me I cannot remember where. As for the Right’s poem, this, too, has a perfectly standard beginning, but then has the expression “lightning dripping” (moru inazuma) – this seems rather new-fangled to me! Both poems are about the same.’

Summer II: 18

Left.

むぐらはふ賤が垣根も色はへて光ことなる夕顔の花

mugurawau
shizu ga kakine mo
irowaete
hikari kotonaru
yūgao no hana
Creeping from the matted growth
The peasant’s fence
Shines with the fair hues
Of a special light:
Moonflower blooms.

Lord Ari’ie.

275

Right.

たそがれにまがひて咲ける花の名をゝちかた人や問はば答へむ

tasogare ni
magaite sakeru
hana no na o
ochikata hito ya
towaba kotaemu
In the dusk
Entangled, blooming;
The flowers’ name
A distant stranger
Were I to ask, would he reply?

Lord Takanobu.

276

The Right wonder whether the expression ‘shine with fair hues’ (irowayu) is quite proper. The Left complain that ‘in the poem “distant stranger/will I raise my voice” there is no mention of moonflowers.

Shunzei states, ‘In the Left’s poem, it might be acceptable to talk of the “fence’s hue” (kakine no iro), but “shines with the fair hues” (irowaete)is undesirable. As for the Right’s poem, the response to the “distant stranger” in the original poem contains the phrase ‘when in Spring’ (haru sareba). It is certainly not a reference to moonflowers. In Genji, the Prince sees some white blossoms, and mentions the “distant strangers”; his bodyguard hears and understands, saying, “Those are called moonflowers,” and this is no mistake, however, to refer to Genji so obliquely is poor. It does the work a disservice. Still, with the Left’s “shines with fair hues” it is difficult to determine a winner. A tie it is!”

Summer II: 17

Left (Tie).

をのづからなさけぞみゆる荒手組む賤がそともの夕顔の花

onozukara
nasake zo miyuru
arate kumu
shizu ga soto mo no
yūgao no hana
How natural
To be moved:
Twined roughly round the fence
Outside a peasant’s hut,
Moonflower blooms…

Kenshō.

273

Right (Tie).

山賤の契のほどや忍ぶらん夜をのみ待つ夕顔の花

yamagatsu no
chigiri no hodo ya
shinoburan
yoru o nomi matsu
yūgao no hana
Is it with the mountain man
Her time is pledged
So secretly?
For the night alone, awaiting,
The moonflower bloom.

Jakuren.

274

The Right state, ‘it is normal diction to say ‘roughly’ (arate) ‘hang’ (kaku). Is it possible to also use ‘twine’ (kumu)?’ In response from the Left, ‘Yes, one can.’ The Left have no criticisms to make of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei states, ‘Both poems are equally lacking in faults or merits. Whether one uses “roughly” twining or hanging, neither is particularly superlative, I think. “Her time is pledged” (chigiri no hodo ya) seems somehow lacking , too. This round must tie.’

Summer II: 16

Left (Win).

暮そめて草の葉なびく風のまに垣根涼しき夕顔の花

kuresomete
kusa no ha nabiku
kaze no ma ni
kakine suzushiki
yūgao no hana
At the first fall of dusk
Blades of grass rustle
In the breeze;
On the brushwood fence coolly
Blooms a moonflower.

Lord Sada’ie.

271

Right.

日數ふる雪にしほれし心地して夕顔咲ける賤が竹垣

hikazu furu
yuki ni shioreshi
kokochishite
yūgao sakeru
shizu ga takegaki
Day after passing day
Of snowfall has draped it,
I feel,
Moonflowers blooming on
A peasant’s bamboo fence.

Lord Tsune’ie.

272

The Right state, ‘Both “first fall of dusk” (kuresomete) and “in the breeze” (kaze no ma ni) are unusual expressions.’ The Left in return say, ‘It sounds as if the bamboo fence is weighed down with moonflowers!’ (The Left here are interpreting the verb shioru to mean ‘bend down’ which is one of its senses. I have not followed this in my translation, in line with Shunzei’s judgement, below.)

Shunzei comments, ‘The gentlemen of the Right have stated that “first fall of dusk” (kuresomete) and “in the breeze” (kaze no ma ni) are unusual expressions, but I do not feel this to be particularly the case. As for yuki ni shiroreshi, surely this simply means that the fence is draped. In any case, however, “on the brushwood fence, coolly” is the superior poem in every way.’

Summer II: 15

Left (Tie).

蚊遣火の煙いぶせき賤の庵にすゝけぬ物は夕顔の花

kayaribi no
kemuri ibuseki
shizu no io ni
susukenu mono wa
yūgao no hana
Mosquito smudge fires’
Fumes fill the dreary
Peasant’s hut; but
Untouched by soot are
The moonflower blooms.

Lord Suetsune.

269

Right (Tie).

煙立つ賤が庵か薄霧のまがきに咲ける夕顔の花

kemuri tatsu
shizu no iori ka
usugiri no
magaki ni sakeru
yūgao no hana
Is this smoke rising from
The peasants’ huts?
Faintly misted
Blooming on the rough-hewn fence
Are moonflowers…

Ietaka.

270

The Right have no criticisms to make this round. The Left simply say the phrase ‘huts? Faintly misted’ (iori ka usugiri) ‘stands out’.

Again, Shunzei is blunt: ‘The Left’s “untouched by soot” (susukenu) and the Right’s “faintly misted” (usugiri) are both equally poor. The round should tie.’