Tag Archives: snowfall

Chūgū no suke shige’ie ason ke uta’awase 96

小笹原夜の間の雪に埋もれてゐなの山風音ぞともしき

ozasawara
yo no ma no yuki ni
uzumorete
ina no yamakaze
oto zo tomoshiki
The groves of young broad-leaved bamboo
In night’s snowfall
Have been buried;
The wind in the Ina mountains
Sounds faint, indeed!

Minamoto no Moromitsu
源師光

Winter II: 3

Left (Win).

訪へかしな庭の白雪跡絶えてあはれも深き冬の朝を

toekashi na
niwa no shirayuki
ato taete
aware mo fukaki
fuyu no ashita o
I would go a’calling;
In my garden the white snowfall
Has covered all the tracks;
How deep is my sorrow,
On this winter morning!

Lord Kanemune.

545

Right.

軒のうち雀の聲は馴るれども人こそ知らぬ今朝の白雪

noki no uchi ni
suzume no koe wa
naruredomo
hito koso shiranu
kesa no shirayuki
From underneath the eaves
To the sparrows’ chirps
Have I grown accustomed, yet
No one noticed
This morning’s fall of snow so white…

Nobusada.

545

The Right state that the Left’s initial line makes their poemsound like a reply. In addition, the final line is ‘overly forceful’ [itau tsuyoku]. The Left merely comment that the Right’s use of ‘sparrow’ (suzume) is ‘inappropriate’.

Shunzei’s judgement: Even though the Left’s poem is not a reply, starting with ‘I would go a’calling’ (toekashi na) is common in the reply style [zōtōtei]. In addition, ‘Winter Mornings’ is not a topic which one needs to approach obliquely. There are only the good and bad points of the poetry. ‘From underneath the eaves to the sparrows’ chirps have I grown accustomed’ (noki no uchi ni suzume no koe wa naruru) is not an expression much used about morning snow. However, the final section of the poem appears fine. ‘Sparrows’ chirps’ (suzume no koe) is, perhaps, somewhat colloquial [zoku no chikaku]. Despite the comment by the gentlemen of the Right that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘overly forceful’, it is a better ‘Winter Morning’ poem.

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.’