Tag Archives: sunlight

Kanpyō no ōntoki kisai no miya uta’awase 75

Left

をとめ子がひかげのうへに降る雪は花のまがふにいづれたがへり

otomego ga
hikage no ue ni
furu yuki wa
hana no magau ni
izure tagaeri
Maidens
In the sunlight, with
The falling snow;
Such a blending of blossoms—
How do they differ?

145

Left

かきくらし散る花とのみふる雪は冬のみやこの雲のちるかと

kakikurashi
chiru hana to nomi
furu yuki wa
fuyu no miyako no
kumo no chiru ka to
Quickly darkening with
Scattered blossom that is simply
Falling snow,
Is the capital in winter
Strewn with cloud?

146

Love IV: 12

Left.
ひとり寢の袖の名殘の朝じめり日影に消えぬ露もありけり

hitorine no
sode no nagori no
asajimeri
hikage ni kienu
tsuyu mo arikeri
Sleeping solo
My sleeves remain
Damp in the morning;
The sunlight leaves untouched
The dewfall there.

A Servant Girl.
803

Right (Win).
道芝を分けて露けき袖ならば濡れても暮を待たまし物を

michishiba o
wakete tsuyukeki
sode naraba
nuretemo kure mo
matamashi mono o
If the roadside grasses,
Have brushed dewfall
On these sleeves,
May to dampen them again, ‘til evening
I would wish to wait…

Ietaka.
804

The Right state: we find no faults in the Left’s poem. The Left state: there is a very recent poem, ‘If he would be wet with waves should surely wait for evening?’.

In judgement: simply saying, ‘Sleeping solo my sleeves remain damp in the morning’ (hitorine no sode no nagori no asajimeri) seems to lack the conception of love. I wonder who might have written the ‘recent poem’, ‘If he would be wet with waves should surely wait for evening?’ mentioned by the Right? How, indeed, can we avoid poems which are not in the anthologies? In any case, the poem here is ‘May to dampen them again, ‘til evening I would wish to wait’ and the initial line is different. This level of resemblance between poems is not uncommon. The Right’s poem is pleasant. It should win.

Love IV: 9

Left.
空晴れて山の端出づる日影にも乾きもやらぬ袖の上かな

sora harete
yama no ha izuru
hikage ni mo
kawaki mo yaranu
sode no ue kana
The sky clears and
From the mountains’ edge appears
The sunlight, yet
It cannot even dry
The surface of my sleeves…

Lord Ari’ie.
797

Right (Win).
澤に出て朝菜摘むとも覺えぬあやしきほどに濡るゝ袖哉

sawa ni idete
asana tsumu
tomo oboenu
ayashiki hodo ni
nururu sode kana
Going out to the marshes and
Gathering greens for breakfast –
I cannot recall at all;
How strange it is that
My sleeves are then so drenched…

Lord Tsune’ie.
798

The Right state: we find no faults to mention in the Left’s poem. The Left state: recalling gathering greens for breakfast is something one can do in the afternoon or the evening. In addition, ‘I cannot recall’ (oboenu) is prosaic in content.

In judgement: the Left’s poem simply says that the sunlight is unable to dry one’s sleeves, and contains little conception of love. The Right’s ‘sleeves’ sound as if they have been most extraordinarily drenched, so the Right should win.

Winter I: 21

Left.

人目こそ離れも果てなめ山里に日影も見えず霙降るころ

hitome koso
kare mo hatename
yamazato ni
hikage mo miezu
mizore furu koro
The bustle of folk
Seems so far away,
In a mountain home
Where no sunlight but
Sleet does fall…

Lord Ari’ie.

521

Right (Win).

かき曇りみぞるゝ空や冴えそめて氷も果てぬ時雨なるらん

kakikumori
mizoruru sora ya
saesomete
kōri mo hatenu
shigure naruran
Gathering clouds,
Sleeting, fill the sky;
The first chill of
Endless ice
In the coming shower…

Ietaka.

522

The Right state that they are unable to understand the point of ‘Sleet does fall’ (mizore furu koro). The Left state that ‘sleeting’ (mizoruru) is grating on the ear [kikinikushi]. In addition, the initial 5-7-5 structure is inconsistent [kiregire nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: In the Left’s poem what is the problem with understanding ‘sleet does fall’? However, what I would want it to say next is that the sunlight always falls. In the Right’s poem, one could have said ‘sleeted sky’ (mizoreshi sora), but ‘sleeting sky’ is also unproblematic [nan ni oyobubekarazu]. ‘Endless ice in the coming shower’ (kōri mo hatenu shigure naruran) is an unusual conception [kokoro mezurashiku], and ‘the first chill’ (saesomete) is also well positioned. The Right is slightly better and should win.

Autumn I: 6

Left.

打ち寄する浪より秋の龍田川さても忘れぬ柳陰かな

uchiyosuru
nami yori aki no
tatsutagawa
satemo wasurenu
yanagikage kana
Approaching on
The waves, comes autumn to
The Tatsuta River;
And yet, I cannot forget
The willows’ shade.

A Servant Girl.

311

Right.

秋淺き日影に夏は殘れども暮るゝ籬は荻の上風

aki asaki
hikage ni natsu wa
nokoredomo
kururu magaki wa
ogi no uwakaze
Faintly autumnal is
The sunlight, with summer
Yet remaining;
At evening by the rough-woven fence
Blows a breeze o’er the silver-grass.

Nobusada.

312

The Right say the Left’s poem is ‘particularly good.’ The Left state that, ‘“Faintly autumnl” (aki asaki) grates on the ear, and we also cannot grasp the use of “evening by the rough-woven fence” (kururu magaki).’

Shunzei states, ‘The Left’s “approaching on the waves” (nami yori aki no), seems particularly charming, but when taken together with “willows’ shade” (yanagi kade)– the Tatsuta River has long been the subject of composition on “flowing scarlet autumn leaves”, and even now this gives a slightly poetic effect; “willows’ shade” has been used in composition, both in ancient times and more recently, but does it not seem commonplace now? The Right’s poem is in the same vein as that of the Right in Round One Hundred and Fifty-Two, yet I do not find “faintly autumnal” to be unpleasant. “Evening by the rough-woven fence”, too, has charm. The Left’s poem has vocabulary in accordance with the contents; the Right unusual expressions. In this combination, the round must tie.’

Spring II: 23

Left (Win).

面影に千里をかけて見するかな春のひかりに遊ぶいとゆふ

omokage ni
chisato o kakete
misuru kana
haru no hikari ni
asobu itoyū
A vision from
Across a thousand leagues
Appears,
In the spring sunlight
Wavering ‘midst the haze.

A Servant Girl.

105

Right.

見わたせばあるかなきかに亂れつゝ心ぼそくも遊ぶいとゆふ

miwataseba
aru ka naki ka ni
midaretsutsu
kokorobosoku mo
asobu itoyū
When I look out
Is it there, or not?
Disordered and
Forlorn,
Wavering haze.

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

106

The Right say they have nothing particular to remark upon about the Left’s poem, but the Left wonder whether ‘forlorn’ (kokorobosoku mo) forms an appropriate linkage with the final line. (The point they are making is that in the original poem the final line starts asobu, which literally means ‘enjoy oneself’ or ‘play’, and thus ‘forlorn’ seems an incongruous prequel to it. In all the ‘Heat Haze’ poems I’ve translated asobu as ‘wavering’, as it’s use in this context is not for its sense, but as an addition piece of orthographic wordplay, as ‘heat haze’ (itoyū), is written with the characters for ‘threads’ (ito 糸) and ‘play’ ( 遊).)

Shunzei’s judgement is: ‘One has to wonder about the suitability of the final line of the Right’s poem, as is the gist of the Left’s remarks; by contrast, the ending of the Left’s poems seems particularly good. It has to be the winner.’