Tag Archives: tamoto

SIS II: 81

When former emperor Reizei was Crown Prince, and ordered that a hundred poem sequence be presented.

花の色に染めし袂の惜しけれは衣かへうきけふにもあるかな

Fana no iro ni
somesi tamoto no
wosikereba
koromo kaFe uki
keFu ni mo aru kana
The blossoms’ hue
Has dyed my sleeves,
So I do regret
The sorrow of changing clothes
On this day today…

Minamoto no Shigeyuki
源重之

Love III: 2

Left (Win).

干しかねし袂ははやく朽はてゝ戀ぞ涙にあらはれにける

hoshikaneshi
tamoto wa hayaku
kuchihatete
koi zo namida ni
arawarenikeru
Unable to dry
My sleeves have already
Rotted away;
Love, with tears
Is revealed.

Lord Kanemune.

723

Right.

忍びこし思を今は忘れられん外の人目と嘆くばかりぞ

shinobikoshi
omoi o ima wa
wasuraren
yoso no hitome to
nagekubakari zo
My hidden
Love is known, now, but
When I am forgotten
Others’ gazes will
Only cause me grief.

Ietaka.

724

The Right state that the Left’s poem sounds ‘very hackneyed’ [ito, furumekashi], while the Left complain that they cannot hear the link between ‘when I am forgotten’ (wasuraren) and the subsequent material [tsuzukite mo kikoezu].

Shunzei’s judgement: While the Left’s poem may sound hackneyed, there is not a previous example which it resembles closely [sashite sono uta to wa kikoezu]. At the same time, it is extremely tasteful in form [utazama wa yū narubeshi]. Thus, the Left wins.

Love I: 17

Left (Win).

谷深みはるかに人をきくの露触れぬ袂よ何しほるらん

tani fukami
haruka ni hito o
kiku no tsuyu
furenu tamoto yo
nani shioruran
Deep within the valley,
Of her, a distant
Word; no dew from the chrysanthemum
Has touched my sleeves, so
Why are they so damp?

A Servant Girl.

633

Right.

君をのみ心づくしに企救の池言ひ出ぬより袖ぞ濡れぬる

kimi o nomi
kokoro zukushi ni
kiku no ike
ii’idenu yori
sode zo nurenuru
Only you do
Fill the whole of my heart;
Word of the waters of Kiku Pond,
A mere mention and
My sleeves are soaked….

Lord Tsune’ie.

634

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem is without fault. The Gentlemen of the Left state: while the Right’s ‘Kiku Pond’ (kiku no ike) does have something novel about it, ‘a mere mention’ (ii’idenu) is pedestrian.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘chrysanthemum valley’ (kiku no tani) and the Right’s ‘chrysanthemum pond’ (kiku no ike) both along the same lines and seem to sound charming [okashiku koso kikoehaberumeredomo]; still, ‘no dew from the chrysanthemum has touched my sleeves’ (kiku no tsuyu furenu tamoto yo) seems a little more elegant to me now.

Love I: 5

Left (Win).

錦木に書き添へてこそ言の葉も思ひそめつる色は見ゆらめ

nishikigi ni
kakisoete koso
koto no ha mo
omoisometsuru
iro wa miyurame
Upon the spindle trees
He writes
His words, yet will those leaves
With the first shadings
Of passionate hues, she see…

Kenshō.

609

Right.

思ふより憂きに馴れたる袂かな涙や戀の先に立つらん

omou yori
uki ni naretaru
tamoto kana
namida ya koi no
saki ni tatsuran
From these soft feelings
To heartbreak accustomed are
My sleeves!
Do tears always love
Precede, I wonder?

Jakuren.

610

The Gentlemen of the Right state: while it is well known that spindle trees are an expression of love, it is certainly not the case that letters are attached to them. In response, the Left: in the writings of Nōin, he says, ‘A spindle tree is one to which the country folk attach letters.’ The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is irredeemably archaic [muge ni furumekashi]. In addition, ‘From these soft feelings to heartbreak accustomed’ (omou yori uki ni naretaru) is poorly linked, and the use of ‘precede’ (saki ni tatsu), in the absence of the mention of a path in the poem, lacks connection.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left’s use of ‘spindle tree’ (nishikigi) is familiar from many Love poems and so seems quite tediously mundane [rei no koto]. The Right seems to have followed to some extent the conception of a poem by the former Nijō Lord’s serving woman, Chikuzen. I included it in the Senzaishū, and will note it down after this. As a result, the poem using the spindle tree must win. Note:

思ふよりいつしかぬるゝたもとかな涙ぞ戀のしるべなりける

omou yori
itsu shika nururu
tamoto kana
namida zo koi no
shirube narikeru
From these soft feelings
How swiftly soaked are
My sleeves;
Tears, indeed, of love
Are such a sign!

The positioning of certain words does not differ to any great extent.

Autumn I: 1

Left (Tie).

唐衣ひとへに夏の氣色にて袂に秋は知られざりけり

karakoromo
hitoe ni natsu no
keshiki nite
tamoto ni aki wa
shirarezarikeri
My Cathay robe:
A single layer has summer’s
Feel;
Upon my sleeves is autumn
Entirely unknown.

Lord Suetsune.

301

Right.

秋來ぬと風の氣色は見ゆれども猶涼しさは音せざりけり

aki kinu to
kaze no keshiki wa
miyuredomo
nao suzushisa wa
oto sezarekeri
When autumn came
In the breeze’s touch
Did I feel it,
Without coolness or
Sound.

Lord Tsune’ie.

302

The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem; the Left merely wonder ‘whether proceeding from ‘coolness’ (suzushisa) to ‘sound’ (oto) is appropriate expression, although it is in keeping with the spirit of the topic.’

Shunzei states, ‘The Left’s poem has no particular problems, but “My Cathay robe: a single layer” (karakoromo hitoe) is a somewhat old-fashioned expression, and saying “Upon my sleeves is autumn entirely unknown” (tamoto ni aki wa shirarezarikeri) seems rather pointless. In the Right’s poem, while it is in the spirit of “My eyes clearly” (me ni Fa sayakani), “Without coolness or sound” (nao suzushisa wa oto sezarekeri) is clumsy expression. Neither poem is a worthy victor this round.’