Tag Archives: utatane

Autumn I: 17

Left (Win).

はかなしや荒れたる宿のうたゝ寢に稲妻通ふ手枕の露

hakanashi ya
aretaru yado no
utatane ni
inazuma kayou
tamakura no tsuyu
How brief it was!
In a ruined dwelling
Dozing, when
Lightning crossed
The dewdrops on my pillowing arm…

A Servant Girl.

333

Right.

すだき來し澤の螢は影消てたえだえ宿る宵の稲妻

sudakikoshi
sawa no hotaru wa
kage kiete
taedae yadoru
yoi no inazuma
All together have
The fireflies above the marsh
Lost their light;
Briefly remaining,
Lightning at the dusk…

Jakuren.

334

The Right state that they have no criticisms of the Left’s poem. The Left wonder about the suitability of fireflies disappearing in the autumn.

Shunzei feels, ‘The Left’s poem is certainly charming in form and expression, but more thought should have been given to the initial phrase “How brief it was!” (hakanashi ya). The Right’s poem, too, is charming, and as for fireflies being a topic for summer poetry alone, in autumn it is acceptable to compose on the failing of their light, is it not? Did not Anjin compose “Fireflies flashing on the palace stairs and gates/Crickets crying from the eaves and tiles”? There is also the example from the Collection of Songs to Sing Aloud of “Seeking cuckoo calls in the dawntime clouds/Innumerable fireflies flit among the autumn grasses”. Still, the Left’s “dewdrops on my pillowing arm” wins, I think.’

Summer I: 30

Left (Win).

夏の夜はなるゝ清水の浮き枕むすぶ程なきうたゝ寢の夢

natsu no yo wa
naruru shimizu no
ukimakura
musubu hodo naki
utatane no yume
On a summer night
Trickling water cools
Beside my drifting pillow;
No time to dip it
In a brief dozy dream.

Lord Sada’ie.

239

Right.

夏の夜の數にも入れじ時鳥來鳴かぬさきに明るしのゝめ

natsu no yo no
kazu ni mo ireji
hototogisu
kinakanu saki ni
akuru shinonome
Among summer nights’
Number I’ll not count this one:
Before the cuckoo
Can come calling
Comes the dark before bright dawn.

Nobusada.

240

The Right wonder ‘whether “Trickling water beside my drifting pillow” (shimizu no ukimakura) is something that’s likely to occur?’ while the Right counter, ‘and what of “Among summer nights’ number I’ll not count this one” (natsu no yo no kazu ni mo ireji) – it seems somewhat excessive an expression.’ Shunzei states testily, ‘The gentlemen of the Right’s questioning of “drifting pillow” (ukimakura) is absurd, for has there not long been the image of pillowing on a flow? The Right’s “Among summer nights’ number I’ll not count this one”, unavoidably incurs criticism from the gentlemen of the Left. In addition, the Left’s final line is most fine. It should win.’