ause oba nagarete to koso tanomeshi ka ika ni to dani mo otonashi no taki Our meeting, like the rapids, Will flow on—can I Trust in that? However much they seem The silenced cataract of Otonashi…
sumiwaburu na no nagasaji to tsutsumu ma ni shibashi yodomu zo otonashi no taki Living on in sorrow and Letting no word of it flow out— Thus wrapped up Briefly stilled has been The cataract of Otonashi.
Supernumerary Minor Captain Morotoki
kazu narade yo ni sumie no mi o tsukushi itsu o matsu tomo nakimi narikeri Countless are The generations spent at Sumie, with The channel buoys: exhausted What should I await but To be dead.
Master of the Left Capital Office Toshiyori
nagaretemo ause wa taeji sumie no mi o tsukushitemo kuchihatetenan Flowing on, yet The rapids’ meetings will not cease; At Sumie with The channel buoys, you may be exhausted, but Would you rot away…
Kazusa, in service to the Empress
Channel buoys. Image by Claudia Thorn from Pixabay
aki no mushi nado wabishige ni koe no suru tanomeshi kage ni tsuyu ya morikuru Why do the autumn insects And more let out plaintive Cries; Is your trustworthy face Drenched in dew?
momijiba no nagareteyukeba yamagawa no asaki se dani mo aki wa fukaminu The scarlet leaves Have come flowing, so The mountain stream’s Shallow rapids—even they Are deep in autumn!
mizu asami kawase no nami wa tatsu mono o kudasu ubune no mitsu ya ika naru How shallow the waters in The river rapids where waves Arise – What will become of the cormorant boats, sailing down If they be full?
okuyama no hito mo kayowanu tanikawa ni seze no ishibashi tare watashiken Deep within the mountains, where Folk never go, lies A stream within a valley, The rapids spanned by a bridge of stones, But who might it be that built it?
hayaki nagare o
seku iwa no
tsurenaki naka ni
mi o kudakuran The River Yoshino’s
Swift flow is
Dammed by boulders;
With the chilling of our bond
It seems my very self will shatter…
A Servant Girl
ari tote mo
awanu tameshi no
kuchi dani hateyo
sese no mumoregi We live, yet
Cannot meet – our situation
A source of rumours; in the River Natori
Let all rot away with
The drowned trees in the rapids!
Both Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.
In judgement: both poems are extremely good. This is a tie of quality.
wata tsu umi no
mono’omoi kana Beyond the clouds
My gaze goes on and on;
The endless sea:
What lies beyond is unknown
As my gloomy thoughts…
ise no umi no
shiose ni sawagu
kudakete mono o
omou koro kana The sea at Ise:
Raging rapids with the tides,
Filling my thoughts these days…
The Right state: the Left’s poem is clichéd. The Left state: the Right’s poem is that of Shigeyuki.
In judgement: the Left’s poem is clichéd, but in addition to this uses ‘goes on and on’ (
tsuzukite), which is not something one should say. The Right’s poem is, indeed, overly close to Shigeyuki’s, so both Left and Right poem are deficient and lacking in any element allowing a win.
Composed on rivers.
se no sayakemi to
minikosi ware wo The River Hatsuse
As white mulberry blossom
The rapids feel so fresh to
Me, come to gaze upon them…
ubune no tanawa
yonayona sese o
sumika to zo suru Upon the River Ōi
The cormorant boats’ hawsers
Night after night upon the rapids
Do they make their dwelling.