Tag Archives: scent

Love V: 21

Left (Win).
重ねずと思ふばかりぞ小夜衣匂ひは袖に移りぬるかな

kasanezu to
omou bakari zo
sayogoromo
nioi wa sode ni
utsurinuru kana
No piled robes, but
All I do is long for her:
Her night-robe’s
Scent upon my sleeves
Does dwell….

Lord Suetsune
881

Right.
匂ひ來る梢ばかりを情にて主は遠き宿の梅が枝

nioikuru
kozue bakari o
nasake nite
aruji wa tōki
yado no mume ga e
The scent drifting
From the treetops is my only
Consolation, for
Their master is as far away
As his dwelling’s plum blossom branches…

Nobusada
882

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults to indicate. The Left state: is the Right’s poem not composed upon the plum blossom of the house next door?

In judgement: for the topic of ‘Nearby Love’, poems composed where the lovers are in the same room are most likely winners. Even so, how close do their dwellings need to be? The Left’s latter section, ‘Her night-robe’s scent upon my sleeves’ (sayogoromo nioi wa sode ni) is certainly elegant. The Right’s poem has ‘Their master is as far away’ (aruji wa tōki). Simply because of this, it is certainly not composed on plum blossom. Still, the Left’s ‘night-robe’ (sayogoromo) seems a little superior to ‘The scent drifting from the treetops is my only consolation’ (nioikuru kozue bakari o nasake nite).

 

Winter I: 12

Left.

白菊の散らぬは殘る色顔に春は風をも恨みけるかな

shiragiku no
chiranu wa nokoru
irogao ni
haru wa kaze o mo
uramikeru kana
The white chrysanthemums
Will not scatter: they have about them
That look
Towards the springtime wind
Of spite!

Lord Sada’ie.

503

Right (Win).

花もかく雪の籬まで見る菊の匂ひは袖にまた殘さなん

hana mo naku
yuki no mase made
miru kiku no
nioi wa sode ni
mata nokosanan
Until flowers are there none
And snow piles against my fence,
Gazing at the chrysanthemums,
I wish the scent upon my sleeves
Would linger yet…

Nobusada.

504

The Right state that the Left’s poem has nothing to do with lingering chrysanthemums in its initial part, and the concluding section is incomprehensible [kokoroegatashi]. The Left merely remark that the Right’s ‘snow piles against my fence’ (yuki no mase) sounds poor [kikiyokarazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: The gentleman of the Right states that ‘the Left’s poem has nothing to do with lingering chrysanthemums’ – this really isn’t the case, is it? Even superficially, this is not true [omote naki ni wa arazu].However, I am unable to accept ‘look’ (irogao) as appropriate diction. In the Right’s poem, ‘snow piles against my fence’ (yuki no mase), again, charmingly and especially reflects the conception of lingering chrysanthemums [zangiku no kokoro mo koto ni miete okashiku koso mie]. In general, hearing both sides complaining that the other’s poems ‘sound poor’ or ‘grate upon the ear’ is itself unpleasant to hear. The Right wins.

Winter I: 10

Left (Win).

暮ていにし秋の形見と思ふべき菊さへ色を變へてけるかな

kurete’inishi
aki no katami to
omoubeki
kiku sae iro o
kaetekeru kana
Night has fallen on
Autumn’s keepsake –
Or so I thought –
Even the chrysanthemums’ hues
Have changed…

Lord Kanemune.

499

Right.

一枝も折りつる袖は白菊の匂ひまでこそ移ろひにけれ

hito eda mo
oritsuru sode wa
shiragiku no
nioi made koso
utsuroinikere
A single stem
I plucked and to my sleeves
The white chrysanthemums’
Scent, even,
Has shifted…

Jakuren.

500

The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left state that there does not seem to be the conception of ‘lingering’ in the Right’s poem. In response, the Right say, ‘By the use of “even” (made) one can understand that the chrysanthemums’ hues have shifted as well. The use of “shift” (utsurou) expresses the conception of lingering [nokori no kokoro nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘Even the chrysanthemums’ hues’ (kiku sae iro o) seems most fine [yoroshiku koso haberumere]. The Right, too, with its ‘chrysanthemums’ scent’ (kiku no nioi) is particularly splendid [fukaku yū ni wa haberubeshi]. On the matter of the conception of lingering chrysanthemums [nokori no kiku no kokoro], the Right have said that ‘using “even the scent” expresses the conception of lingering’, which is true enough, but is it not that the scent has shifted to the poet’s sleeves, even though the flowers are chrysanthemums? Thus, the conception of a shift of hue must be somewhat weak [utsurou kokoro wa nao sukunakarubeku]. In any case, the Left’s conception of lingering is certainly stronger. The Left wins.

Winter I: 8

Left.

いつしかと移ろふ色の見ゆるかな花心なる八重の白菊

itsu shika to
utsurou iro no
miyuru kana
hanagokoronaru
yae no shiragiku
All at once
Your colours change
I see;
What a flower’s heart you have,
Eightfold chrysanthemum!

Lord Suetsune.

495

Right (Win).

花ならぬ匂ひも後はなき物を移ろひ殘れ庭の白菊

hana naranu
nioi mo nochi wa
naki mono wo
utsuroinokore
niwa no shiragiku
Flowers are there none,
But a trace of scent
Of what’s gone
Leave trailed behind,
O, garden chrysanthemums!

Ietaka.

496

The Right remark that the Left’s poem, ‘seems overly humorous’ [tawabure ni nitari]. The Left counter by wondering, ‘Whether it really is possible to separate flower and scent?’

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem, even though it has a ‘flower’s heart’ (hanagokoro) ‘changing’ (utsurou), seems to lack the conception of a poem on ‘lingering chrysanthumums’ [zangiku no kokoro sukunaku kikoyuru ni ya]. As for the Right’s poem, although it is true that flower and scent are not separate, there are poems composed on plum blossom, such as ‘The plum blossoms’/Scent, disturbingly,/Clings to my sleeves’ or ‘Leave behind your scent, at least’, so ‘a trace of scent’ (nioi mo nochi wa) does not seem to be a fault. ‘Leave trailed behind’ (utsuroinokore), too, is not unpleasant [yoroshikarazaru ni arazu]. The Right should win.