Tag Archives: toko

Love IX: 30

Left (Win)
忘れずは馴し袖もやこほこほるらむ寝ぬ夜の床の霜のさむしろ

wasurezu wa
nareshi sode mo ya
kōruramu
nenu yo no toko no
shimo no samushiro
If she should forget me not,
Would those oh so familiar sleeves, too,
Freeze solid?
In bed on a sleepless night
Frost forms on my chilly blankets…

Lord Sada’ie
1139

Right
分てこそ中より塵は積もりぬれ恋の病に沈むさ筵

wakete koso
naka yori chiri wa
tsumorinure
koi no yamai ni
shizumu samushiro
Split down
The middle, dust
Has piled up!
Sunk in the sickness
Of love upon this blanket!

Lord Takanobu
1140

Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: the conception of being lost in thought of another’s sleeves ‘in bed on a sleepless night frost forms on my chilly blankets’ (nenu yo no toko no shimo no samushiro) is certainly elegant. The scene in the Right’s poem, with the blanket divided in half, with one covered with dust, and the other where the speaker lies lovesick, is distasteful and I do not find it appealing, so thus, the Left wins.

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: 26

Left
君ゆへにわれさへうとく成はてゝ塵のみゐたる床のさむしろ

kimi yue ni
ware sae utoku
narihatete
chiri nomi itaru
toko no samushiro
For him
So distant have I
Become;
Dust alone gathers
On the matting of my bed.

Lord Ari’ie
1131

Right (Win)
さむしろも哀とや思ふあらましに來ぬ君待つとうち拂ふをば

samushiro mo
aware to ya omou
aramashi ni
konu kimi matsu to
uchiharau o ba
Does my matting, too,
Feel pity,
I wonder?
As waiting for one who never comes
I sweep it clean…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1132

The Right state: the Left’s poem is not bad. The Left state: the final section of the Right’s poem is unsatisfactory.

In judgement: Both poems use ‘matting’ (samushiro), and the Left’s is not bad in form, but the theme of a person who has grown to hate their own bed so much that dust alone gathers there is completely different from that of the previous round – what sort of lover might they have had, one wonders! Although I wonder about the final section of the Right’s poem, it does not seem to regret the overall conception of love and so wins the round.

Love IX: 21

Left
うちとけて誰に衣を重ぬらんまろがまろ寝も夜深き物を

uchitokete
tare ni koromo o
kasanuran
maro ga marone mo
yobukaki mono o
Loosening them,
With whom does he clothes
Pile together?
Sleeping all alone
How deep this night is…

A Servant Girl
1121

Right (Win)
思わび寝る夜の床の露しげみ身のしろ衣かす人もがな

omoiwabi
neru yo no toko no
tsuyu shigemi
mi no shirogoromo
kasu hito mo gana
In the grief of love,
Sleeping at night, my bed
Is soaked through with dew;
To lend me an over-mantle
Is there no one at all…

Lord Tsune’ie
1122

The Right state: the final section of the Left’s poem is difficult to grasp. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘sleeping all alone how deep this night is…’ (maro ga marone mo yobukaki mono o) does not sound as if it links with the initial section of the poem. ‘Alone’ (maro) is also unacceptable. The Right’s ‘to lend me an over-mantle’ (mi no shirogoromo) sounds elegant. I make it the winner.

Love IX: 1

Left
独寝を今は何にかになぐさめん隣の笛も吹やみぬなり

hitorine o
ima wa nani ni ka
nagusamen
tonari no fue mo
fukiyaminu nari
Sleeping solo,
Now, how can I
Console myself?
For the flute next door
Has ceased to play…

Kenshō
1081

Right (Win)
よなよなは枕になれし笛竹のいかなる床にふしかはるらん

yonayona wa
makura ni nareshi
fuetake no
ikanaru toko ni
fushi kawaruran
Night after night
By my pillow used to be
A flute, but
What bed is it that
He has gone to lie in now?

Ietaka
1082

The Right state: the Left’s poem is mundane. The Left state: what does it mean that a flute is used to lying by a pillow?

In judgement: the Left’s poem has ‘for the flute next door has ceased to play’ (tonari no fue mo fukiyaminu nari), but I wonder if this should not be ‘for the flute next door will cease to play’ (tonari no fue mo fukiyamu). In the rhapsody which Xiang Xu wrote on thinking of times long gone, he says this about a neighbour playing an old flute, ‘Next door, there is a man who plays the flute. The sound emerges, echoing clear,’ without any suggestion that he has stopped playing, so I wonder how appropriate it is in this poem to say that the playing has stopped. The diction of the Right’s poem, ‘by my pillow use to be’ (makura ni nareshi) seems fine. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VIII: 21

Left (Win)
うらやまず臥す猪の床はやすくとも歎も形見寢ぬも契りを

urayamazu
fusu i no toko wa
yasukutomo
nageku mo katami
nenu mo chigiri o
I do not envy
The boar lounging in his bed:
He may be at ease, yet
Grief, too, is a memento;
Lying sleepless marks our bond…

Lord Sada’ie
1061

Right
いかにわれ臥す猪の床に身をかへて夢の程だに契結はん

ika ni ware
fusu i no toko ni
mi o kaete
yume no hodo dani
chigiri musuban
Somehow I
To a boar lounging in his bed
Would change myself, and
For just a brief dream’s length
Would form a bond with you…

Lord Takanobu
1062

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the initial line of the Left’s poem sounds poor. The sense of the ending, too, is difficult to grasp. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of changing oneself into a bed.

In judgement:  both Left and Right refer to ‘a boar lounging in his bed’ (fusu i no toko), and it has been mentioned that the initial line of the Left’s poem sounds poor, and that its ending is difficult to grasp. There really are a number of unacceptable aspects to this poem, are there not, so I cannot add any further words to what has been said. The Right’s poem is not suggesting that one change oneself into a bed. It is saying that one should briefly become a boar, that one might dream briefly of love. How can one possibly see the dream of a boar lying asleep? It certainly seems inferior to ‘not envying a lounging boar’.

Saishō chūjō kuninobu no ie no uta’awase 14

Left (Win).
夜とともに玉散る床の菅枕見せばや人に夜半の景色を

yo to tomo ni
tama tiru toko no
sugamakura
miseba ya Fito ni
yowa no kesiki wo
Together with the night
Gemlets scatter on my bed’s
Sedge-filled pillow;
Should I show her
This midnight sight?

The Master 大夫
[Minamoto no Toshiyori 源俊頼]
27

Right.
波のよる岩根に立てる磯馴れ松また寝もいらで恋ひあかしつる

nami no yoru
iFane ni tateru
sonare matu
mata ne mo irade
koFi akasituru
The waves roll in
To the cliffs where stands
A hardy pine upon the rocks;
Once more sleepless
From love do I greet the dawn.

The Assistant Master 佐
[Fujiwara no Mototoshi 藤原基俊]
28

Eikyū hyakushu 391

Blankets

荒れ果てて空しき床の形見には古き衾のむつましきかな

arehatete
munashiki toko no
katami ni wa
furuki fusuma no
mutsumashiki kana
From a disheveled
Meagre bed
For a keepsake I have
A threadbare blanket;
How close we are!

Higo, from the Residence of the Kyōgoku Regent
京極関白家肥後