Tag Archives: sleeves

Love VIII: 2

Left (Win)
今はさはあはれと思へ菅の根の長き心の程は見つらん

ima wa sa wa
aware to omoe
suga no ne no
nagaki kokoro no
hodo wa mitsuran
Now, indeed, let you
Think fondly of me!
The grasses’ roots run
Long, my heart’s
Love will you see…

Lord Suetsune
1023

Right
世とゝもにかはくまもなき我袖や潮干もわかぬ浪の下草

yo to tomo ni
kawaku ma mo naki
wa ga sode ya
shioi mo wakanu
nami no shitagusa
With the passing time,
Not a moment dry
Are my sleeves;
Low tide does not reveal
The seaweed beneath the waves…

Lord Takanobu
1024

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem is clichéd.

In judgement: the Right, in addition to being clichéd, can say no more than that love means wet sleeves. The Left’s ‘grasses’ roots’ (suga no ne) is certainly better.

Love VII: 21

Left.
夜を重ね心の関のかたきかなわが音は鳥の空音ならねば

yo o kasane
kokoro no seki no
kataki kana
wa ga ne wa tori no
sorane naraneba
Night upon night
The barriers upon your heart
Stand firm, indeed!
For the sounds I make are no cock’s
False crow!

Lord Ari’ie
1001

Right (Win).
人知れぬうらみにあまる浪の上を抑ふる袖や須磨の関守

hito shirenu
urami ni amaru
nami no ue o
osauru sode ya
suma no sekimori
She cannot know
The prospect of my despair;
Dashed upon the waves
Are my sleeves
Barrier Wardens at Suma?

Jakuren
1002

The Right state: why specifically refer to a ‘false crow’ (sorane)? This makes it sound as if the barrier would not be opened for a real bird’s cry. In response, the Left: as there is the precedent of a barrier being opened in response to a false crow, the poem draws upon this to refer to ‘the sounds I make’ (wa ga ne) – we fail to see why this is problematic. The Left state: we find no faults in need of identification in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: it seems difficult to distinguish between ‘the sounds I make’ and the ‘false crow’ in the Left’s poem, and the Right’s ‘dashed upon the waves are my sleeves’ (osauru sode) is pleasant. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VII: 19

Left.
逢ふ事は苗代水を引き止めて通しはてぬや小山田の關

au koto wa
nawashiro mizu o
hikitomete
tōshihatenu ya
oyamada no seki
Can a meeting, like
The waters round the rice seedlings
Be stopped
In their endless flow
Past the Oyamada Barrier?

Kenshō
997

Right (Win).
衣手は清見が關にあらねども絶ゆるよもなき涙也けり

koromode wa
kiyomi ga seki ni
aranedomo
tayuru yo mo naki
namida narikeri
My sleeves as
The Barrier at Kiyomi
Are not, yet
Without cease
Are my tears…

Lord Tsune’ie.
998

The Right state: we are unfamiliar with the expression ‘Oyamada Barrier’ (oyamada no seki). The Left state: it sounds as if it is tears that are ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is stylistically tasteful, but with only ‘can a meeting, like the waters round the rice seedlings’ (au koto wa nawashiro mizu) the conception of love is weak is it not? The Right’s poem metaphorically has tears ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi, and with the ta present, I accept the Left’s point to a certain extent, but this type of thing is not unusual in metaphorical poems.  In addition, there is little reason to imagine the waters round the rice-seedlings being blocked. As it has a stronger focus on Love, the Right wins.

Love VII: 17

Left.
人心さのみはいかゞ水無瀬川我には淺き契なるらむ

hito kokoro
sa nomi wa ikaga
minasegawa
ware ni wa asaki
chigiri naruramu
Her heart
Is just like it; why as
The Minase River
So shallow for me
Should her feelings be?

Lord Suetsune
993

Right (Win).
いかにして影をも見まし澤田河袖つくほどの契りなりとも

ika ni shite
kage o mo mimashi
sawadagawa
sode tsuku hodo no
chigiri naritomo
No matter what
I would see her face in
The River Sawada,
Even if my sleeves get drenched
By my feelings…

Ietaka.
994

Both Left and Right together state: there are no faults to indicate.

In judgement: using ‘the Minase River’ (minasegawa) preceded by ‘is just like it; why as’ (sa nomi wa ika ni) sounds charming in style, but ‘should her feelings be?’ (chigiri naruramu) means the end of the poem is a bit dry! ‘The River Sawada, even if my sleeves get drenched’ (sawadagawa sode tsuku hodo no) sounds pleasant. Thus, the Right wins.

MYS VI: 957

A poem composed when the officials of the government headquarters in Dazai had visited the palace at Kashii, and halted their mounts on the shore at Kashii on the way home, in the winter, Eleventh Month, Jinki 5 [729].

いざ子ども香椎の潟に白栲の袖さへ濡れて朝菜摘みてむ

iza kodomo
kasipi no kata ni
sirotape no
sode sape nurete
asana tumitemu
Hey, fellows all!
On the tidelands of Kashii
Even white mulberry
Sleeves are soaked, so
Let’s gather greens for breakfast!

Ōtomo no Tabito
大伴旅人

GSS XVIII: 1281

When he drew the topic of dew, when people were composing poetry on randomly selected topics at the residence of the Minister of the Left.

我ならぬ草葉もものは思ひけり袖より外におけるしらつゆ

aFare naranu
kusaba mo mono Fa
omoFikeri
sode yori Foka ni
okeru siratuyu
Not only I, but
All the grassy leaves
Are sunk in gloomy thought
For in places other than my sleeves
Fall silver dewdrops.

Fujiwara no Tadakuni
藤原忠国