Tag Archives: Suetsune

Love X: 3

Left
うき舟に一夜ばかりの契だになどありがたき我身なるらむ

ukifune ni
hitoyo bakari no
chigiri dani
nado arigataki
wa ga mi naruramu
In a drifting boat
A single night’s
Brief bond – even that:
Why so rarely
Do I get it?

Lord Suetsune
1145

Right (Win)
誰となきうき寢を忍ぶ海人の子も思へば淺き恨み也けり

tare to naki
ukine o shinobu
ama no ko mo
omoeba asaki
urami narikeri
Knowing not with whom
She’ll briefly sleep, and regret
Is my diving girl:
But considering, little
Will it trouble her!

Ietaka
1146

The Right state: ‘drifting boat’ (ukifune) fails to link properly with ‘single night’ (hitoyo). The Left state: although ‘diving girl’ (ama no ko) is used in the source poem in the section on pleasure girls in the Collection of Poems to Sing, we wonder about the appropriateness of simply using it to mean pleasure girl.

In judgement: there is no need to critique whether or not ‘drifting boat’ links with ‘single night’. In the final section ‘why so rarely’ (nado arigataki), though, makes me wonder why this should be the case! On the matter of the Right’s use of ‘diving girl’, our predecessors, including Lord Kintō, have provided poems on pleasure girls in the Collection of Poems to Sing, and who, indeed, would not utilize this? Furthermore, ‘knowing not with whom she’ll briefly sleep, and regret’ (tare to naki ukine o shinobu) certainly sounds like a pleasure girl! Thus, the Right must win over a pleasure girl finding it hard to get custom.

Love IX: 28

Left
君とわが寝しさむしろの塵なれば形見がてらにうちも払はず

kimi to wa ga
neshi samushiro no
chiri nareba
katami ga tera ni
uchi mo harawazu
My love and I
Did sleep upon these blankets, so
Even the dust there
Is a memento –
I cannot brush it away!

Lord Suetsune
1135

Right (Win)
ひとり寝の床のさ筵朽ちにけり涙は袖をかぎるのみかは

hitorine no
toko no samushiro
kuchinikeri
namida wa sode o
kagiru nomi ka wa
Sleeping solo on
My bed’s blankets,
They have rotted away;
Tears on more than sleeves
Have that effect…

Ietaka
1136

The Right state: ‘did sleep’ (neshi) is particularly unimpressive. The Left state: ‘more than sleeves’ (sode o kagiru) is, perhaps, over-definite.

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, despite ‘did sleep upon these blankets’ (neshi samushiro) referring to something which definitely exists, it still sounds as if there is not much poetic expression in the poem. ‘Is a memento’ (katami ga tera) fails to resemble ‘for blossom viewing’ (hanami ga tera). As for the Right’s poem, I certainly would not say that ‘tears on more than sleeves have that effect’ (namida wa sode o kagiru nomi ka wa) is over-definite. It is somewhat difficult to make out on hearing, but the configuration is poetic, indeed, so the Right should win, it seems.

Love IX: 24

Left (Win)
からあひの八入の衣色深くなどあながちにつらき心ぞ

kara’ai no
yashio no koromo
iro fukaku
nado anagachi ni
tsuraki kokoro zo
Deepest indigo
Dipped many times, my robe’s
Hue is dark, indeed;
Why, with such heartless
Cruelty am I treated…

Lord Suetsune
1127

Right
衣衣にうつりし色はあだなれど心ぞ深き忍ぶもぢずり

kinuginu ni
utsurishi iro wa
ada naredo
kokoro zo fukaki
shinobu mojizuri
My robe’s
Hues have shifted;
Faithless is she, yet
My heart’s depths
Are stained with fern-patterned longing…

Lord Takanobu
1128

The Right state: we wonder whether ‘deepest indigo dipped many times’ (kara’ai no yashio) should not be scarlet. How dark would the colour be then? In response: there is no possibility of interpreting this as scarlet. We have used deep indigo, so what is there to criticise in then using dark? The Left state: while we understand the conception of the poem, we feel the expression is somewhat lacking. ‘My heart’s depths are stained with secret longing’ (kokoro zo fukaki shinobu mojizuri) does not link well with the initial part of the poem.

In judgement: the Left’s initial ‘deepest indigo’ (kara’ai) certainly sounds elegant, and there is no reason to make it scarlet. I also see no reason to fault the use of dark, either. As for the Right, it does not sound as if ‘stained with fern-patterned longing’ (shinobu mojizuri) links with the remainder of the poem – from the beginning to ‘my heart’s depths’ (kokoro zo fukaki). The final ‘stained with fern-patterned longing’ seems to appear abruptly. Deepest indigo should win.

Love IX: 16

Left (Tie)
人しれずつくす心はかひぞなきこや絵にかける姿なるらむ

hito shirezu
tsukusu kokoro wa
kai zo naki
ko ya e ni kakeru
sugata naruramu
Unknown to all
Exhausting my heart
Is so pointless, for
This is but a painted picture
Of her…

Lord Suetsune
1111

Right
いざさらばつれなき人を絵にかきて見てだに恋のなぐさめにせん

iza saraba
tsurenaki hito o
e ni kakite
mite dani koi no
nagusame ni sen
So, then, so be it!
Of that cruel one
I’ll paint a picture, and
Just gazing at it will love’s
Pain ease…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1112

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem is colloquial.

In judgement: the Left, with ‘this is but a painted picture’ (koya e ni kakeru), and the Right, with ‘so, then, so be it!’ (iza saraba), are of similar styles.

Love IX: 8

Left
恋妻はあらぬしらべしらべの琴の緒かあふことかたき音のみ絶えせぬ

koizuma wa
aranu shirabe no
koto no o ka
au koto kataki
ne nomi taesenu
My beloved wife:
Is it that untuned are
Our zithers’ strings?
So there is no harmony, and
Only my sobs are ceaseless…

Lord Suetsune
1095

Right (Win)
松風に通ふと聞きし琴の音も物思ふ時は身にぞしみける

matsukaze ni
kayou to kikishi
koto no ne mo
mono’omou toki wa
mi ni zo shimikeru
The wind in the pines
Resembles, I had heard,
A zither’s strains that, too,
When sunk in gloomy thought
Dye one so deeply…

Jakuren
1096

The Right state: saying ‘our zithers’ strings?’ (koto no o ka) is unsatisfactory. The Left state: if one is not depressed, would one not be deeply affected?

In judgement: the Left certainly sounds as if something is out of tune! The Right’s poem says that on hearing the wind pass through the pine trees, one would be affected. It sounds by no means distant from the topic. Thus, the Right wins.

Love IX: 4

Left (Tie)
うらやましわがりこちくと笛の音を頼むる中の人は聞くらん

urayamashi
wagari kochiku to
fue no ne o
tanomuru naka no
hito wa kikuran
O, how I envious I am!
To my house comes, a bamboo
Flute’s strains – from
A trustworthy, loving
Man, it sounds…

Lord Suetsune
1087

Right
より竹の君によりけんことぞ憂き一夜のふしに音のみ泣かれて

yoritake no
kimi ni yoriken
koto zo uki
hitoyo no fushi ni
ne nomi nakarete
Bamboo flotsam –
That you should draw near
Is cruel, indeed, for
A single night together, brings
Only the sound of weeping…

Lord Tsune’ie
1088

‘Flotsam of bamboo’ (yoritake) and ‘comes, a bamboo’ (kochiku) are equally unsatisfying.

In judgement: ‘Flotsam of bamboo’ and ‘comes, a bamboo’ are of equal quality.

Love VIII: 28

Left (Win)
あはれにぞ鳴あかすなる蛬われのみしぼる袖かと思ふに

aware ni zo
nakiakasunaru
kirigirisu
ware nomi shiboru
sode ka to omou ni
How sad it is –
Crying with the dawn is
The cricket, though
I alone am wringing
Out my sleeves, I feel.

Lord Suetsune
1075

Right
露深きあはれを思へきりぎりす枕の下の秋の夕暮

tsuyu fukaki
aware o omoe
kirigirisu
makura no shita no
aki no yūgure
Deep in dew and
Sad, I wish you were,
O, cricket,
Beneath my pillow
On this autumn evening…

Nobusada
1076

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults we can mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: our feelings are the same as those of the Right

In judgement: both Left and Right are on ‘crickets’ (kirigirisu) and their configuration and diction sound equally elegantly beautiful. I feel that the Right, with ‘deep in dew and sad, I wish you were’ (tsuyu fukaki aware o omoe), is somewhat lacking in the conception of the poet’s own love, but the Left, with ‘I alone am wringing out my sleeves, I feel’ (ware nomi shiboru sode ka to omou ni), has an excellent conception of love, so I must state that the Left is the winner.

Love VIII: 20

Left (Tie)
いかにしてつれなき中を渡るべき足の音もせぬ駒のありとも

ika ni shite
tsurenaki naka o
watarubeki
ashi no oto mo senu
koma no aritomo
How, indeed,
To one so heartless
Can I make my way across?
Even a silent-footed
Steed had I to ride…

Lord Suetsune
1059

Right (Win)
道遠み妹がりがりいそぐその駒に草取り飼はんなづみもぞする

michi tōmi
imogari isogu
sono koma ni
kusa torikawan
nazumi mo zo suru
Long is the road
To go swiftly seek my darling, so
For my steed
I’ll go gather grasses
That he not tire along the way…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1060

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of making one’s way across when there is no ‘bridge’? The Gentlemen of the Left state: there are no faults to indicate in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: the gentleman of the Left has composed his poem referring to the conception of the Man’yō poem ‘A silent-footed / Colt I’d have: / In Kashitsuka, / The clapper bridge at Mama / To ceaselessly traverse!’, but must have misplaced the bridge somewhere. Truly, I do wonder how it is possible to make one’s way across in the absence of a bridge. Although to say ‘for my steed I’ll go gather grasses’ (sono koma ni kusa torikawan) is something commonplace, doing it to prevent one’s mount getting tired, despite the length of the journey, seems better than lacking a bridge.

Love VIII: 14

Left (Tie)
人心常は卯月の時鳥ことかたらはん聲を聞かばや

hito kokoro
tsune wa uzuki no
hototogisu
koto kataran
koe o kikaba ya
Her heart is
Ever chill; O, for the Fourth Month
Cuckoo
To tell me
With a gentle song!

Lord Suetsune
1047

Right
足引の遠山鳥の一聲は我つまながらめづらしき哉

ashihiki no
tōyamadori no
hitogoe wa
ware tsumanagara
mezurashiki kana
Leg-wearying
The distant mountain pheasant’s
Call is
Even for his mate
A rare thing, indeed!

Lord Tsune’ie
1048

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the initial part of the Right’s poem has an antiquated feel.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘cuckoo’ (hototogisu) and the Right’s ‘mountain pheasant’ (yamadori) are of the same level.

Love VIII: 10

Left (Win)
うかりける我み山木の契かな連なる枝もありとこそ聞け

ukarikeru
wa ga mi yamagi no
chigiri kana
tsuranaru eda mo
ari to koso kike
In despair
Am I: hidden among the mountain trees
Is my love;
Though once branches lay atop each other
I did hear…

Lord Suetsune
1039

Right
涙には憂き深山木も朽ちぬべし沖つ小嶋のひさきならねど

namida ni wa
uki fukayamagi mo
kuchinubeshi
oki tsu kojima no
hisaki naranedo
Among my tears,
Drift, despairing, trees from the mountain deeps,
Rotting all away, though
On islets in the offing
On bush-covered beaches, they are not…

Lord Tsune’ie
1040

Both Left and Right state: we find no faults.

In judgement: both Left and Right use the image of ‘trees from the mountain deeps’ (fukayamagi), and neither is superior, or inferior, to the other in this, but I would have to say that the Left’s ‘though once branches lay atop each other I did hear…’ (tsuranaru eda mo ari to koso kike) is somewhat better than the Right’s ‘on bush-covered beaches, they are not…’ (hisaki naranedo).