Tag Archives: shizu

Winter II: 15

Left (Win).

冬ごもる賤の妻木に事添ひて風も折ける嶺の椎柴

fuyugomoru
shizu no tsumaki ni
koto soite
kaze mo orikeru
mine no shiishiba
Hemmed in by winter,
Woodsmen make kindling,
Just as
The wind, too, does break
The brushwood on the peak.

Lord Ari’ie.

569

Right.

冬寒み椎の眞柴を折鎖せど宿には風もたまらざりけり

fuyu samumi
shii no mashiba o
orisasedo
yado ni wa kaze mo
tamarazarikeri
In winter’s chill
Evergreen brushwood
I break to stop my door, yet
My dwelling the wind
Does naught to stop…

Lord Tsune’ie.

570

The Right wonder about the use of ‘just as’ (koto soite). The Left merely state that the Right’s poem is ‘commonplace’ [tsune no koto nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: In the Left’s poem, should it not be ‘to the woodsmen’s kindling/add, will you?’ (shizu no tsumaki ni/soeyo to ya)? Using ‘just as’ (koto soite) does not seem a suitable expression in that it sounds somewhat pompous [yōyōshiku kikoyuru hodo]. As for the Right’s poem, ‘in winter’s chill’ (fuyu samumi) is an ordinary expression. ‘I break to stop my door, yet’ (orisasedo), too, lacks strong feeling. The final section of the Left’s poem, though, sounds pleasant [yoroshiku kokoyu]. It should win.

Winter II: 14

Left.

山人の便りなりとも岡邊なる椎の小枝は折ずもあらなむ

yamabito no
tayori naritomo
okabenaru
shii no koyade wa
orazu mo aranamu
For the mountain folk
Essential they may be, but
Upon the hillside
The brushwood branches
I would have them leave unbroken…

Kenshō.

567

Right.

山深く賤の折りたく椎柴の音さへ寒き朝ぼらけかな

yama fukaku
shizu no oritaku
shiishiba no
oto sae samuki
asaborake kana
Deep within the mountains
Woodsmen break and burn
The brushwood;
That sound brings the chill
To me this dawning…

Ietaka.

568

The Right wonder what the intention is in the Left’s poem of regretting the breakage of ‘brushwood branches’. The Left say that the Right’s poem, ‘recalls a famous poem by one of the other gentlemen of the Right.’

Shunzei’s judgement: Simply using the old-fashioned koyade in place of the more current shiishiba does not improve the sound of the poem, I think. Starting ‘Deep within the mountains’ (yama fukaku) and then continuing ‘Woodsmen break and burn’ (shizu no oritaku) – is this supposed to convey the conception of felling trees [shiba o koru kokoro ni ya]? I hardly think that if one lived in the mountains, the sound of trees being cut and burnt would make one feel the chill. The diction of ‘deep within the mountains’ does not seem appropriate [‘yama fukaku’ no kotoba, kanai mo sezaru]. Given that it does sound old-fashioned, koyade does not sound like a winner, either. The poems are of equal quality.

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.

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.’