Tag Archives: waves

Love VII: 30

Left (Win)
恋わたる夜はのさむしろ波かけてかくや待けん宇治の橋姫

koi wataru
yowa no samushiro
nami kakete
kaku ya machiken
uji no hashihime
Crossed in love
At night my mat of straw
Is washed by waves;
Is this how she waits,
The maid at Uji bridge.

A Servant Girl
1019

Right
いにしへの宇治の橋守身をつまば年経る恋を哀とも見よ

inishie no
uji no hashimori
mi o tsumaba
toshi furu koi o
aware tomo miyo
Ancient
Warden of Uji bridge,
If you pinch me,
How I have aged with love for you
Will you know, and pity me…

Jakuren
1020

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

In judgement: the style of both the Left’s ‘maid at Uji bridge’ (uji no hashihime) and the Right’s ‘Warden of Uji bridge’ (uji no hashimori) is pleasant, and the Left’s ‘Is this how she waits, the maid at Uji bridge’ (kaku ya machiken uji no hashihime) draws on the conception of a tale from long ago, and the configuration also seems deeply moving. Thus, the Left should win.

Love VII: 25

Left (Win).
いざやさは君に逢はずは渡らじと身を宇治橋に書き付けてみん

iza ya sa wa
kimi ni awazu wa
wataraji to
mi o ujihashi ni
kakitsuketemin
So, then,
If I am not to meet you,
I’ll not cross
In my despair, the bridge at Uji,
But just inscribe this here…

Kenshō
1009

Right.
都思ふ濱名の橋の旅人や浪に濡れては恋渡るらむ

miyako omou
hamana no hashi no
tabibito ya
nami ni nurete wa
koiwataruran
His thoughts on the capital,
The bridge at Hamana,
Does a traveller,
Wet by the waves,
Cross while lost in love?

Lord Takanobu
1010

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder if the Right’s poem does not sound as if it is only the capital which the poet loves?

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, ‘If I am not to meet you, I’ll not cross’ (kimi ni awazu wa wataraji to)  is particularly charming, having the conception of the tale of Sima Xiangru in Mengqiu, at the bridge into the commandery of Shu, where he says, ‘If I am not aboard a four-horse carriage, I’ll never cross this bridge again!’, and then later was made a Cavalryman in Permanent Attendance, and entered as an imperial messenger. Metaphorically, it also evokes his meeting with Wenjun, and so seems particularly profound. The poem of the Right commences with ‘His thoughts on the capital’ (miyako omou) and then continues with ‘wet by the waves, cross while lost in love’ (nami ni nurete wa koiwataruran). I do not see how one can say that this poem lacks the conception of Love. However, the conception of the Left’s poem seems rare, indeed. Thus, it wins.

Love VII: 21

Left.
夜を重ね心の関のかたきかなわが音は鳥の空音ならねば

yo o kasane
kokoro no seki no
kataki kana
wa ga ne wa tori no
sorane naraneba
Night upon night
The barriers upon your heart
Stand firm, indeed!
For the sounds I make are no cock’s
False crow!

Lord Ari’ie
1001

Right (Win).
人知れぬうらみにあまる浪の上を抑ふる袖や須磨の関守

hito shirenu
urami ni amaru
nami no ue o
osauru sode ya
suma no sekimori
She cannot know
The prospect of my despair;
Dashed upon the waves
Are my sleeves
Barrier Wardens at Suma?

Jakuren
1002

The Right state: why specifically refer to a ‘false crow’ (sorane)? This makes it sound as if the barrier would not be opened for a real bird’s cry. In response, the Left: as there is the precedent of a barrier being opened in response to a false crow, the poem draws upon this to refer to ‘the sounds I make’ (wa ga ne) – we fail to see why this is problematic. The Left state: we find no faults in need of identification in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: it seems difficult to distinguish between ‘the sounds I make’ and the ‘false crow’ in the Left’s poem, and the Right’s ‘dashed upon the waves are my sleeves’ (osauru sode) is pleasant. Thus, the Right wins.

Dairi no kiku awase 8

A chrysanthemum from the beach at Fukiage in the province of Ki.
秋風の吹上に立てる白菊は花かあらぬか波のよするか

akikaze no
Fukiage ni tateru
siragiku Fa
Fana ka aranu ka
nami no yosuru ka
In the autumn breeze
Arising at Fukiage
Are the white chrysanthemums
Blooms, or are the not, and just
The breaking waves?

8

SZS XIII: 793

Composed on the conception of Love, when he held a poetry contest at his residence while he was a Middle Captain.

我が恋は海女の刈る藻に乱れつつかわく時なき浪の下草

wa ga koFi Fa
ama no karu mo ni
midaretutu
kaFaku toki naki
nami no sitagusa
My love is
As seaweed reaped by fisher-girls,
Ever tangled, and
Not a moment dry
Have the weeds beneath the waves…

Supernumerary Middle Councillor [Fujiwara no] Toshitada
権中納言俊忠

Love VII: 12

Left (Win).
與謝の海の沖つ潮風浦に吹けまつなりけりと人に聞かせん

yosa no umi no
oki tsu shio kaze
ura ni fuke
matsunarikeri to
hito ni kikasen
By the sea at Yosa,
Tidewinds on the offing,
Blow across the bay!
That I am waiting without end,
Tell him!

A Servant Girl
983

Right.
浪かくるさしでの磯の岩根松ねにあらはれてかはくまもなし

nami kakuru
sashide no iso no
iwane matsu
ne ni arawarete
kawaku ma mo nashi
Waves beat
Upon the shore at Sashide, where
The pine trees on the crags
Roots are bared and
Never dry for but a moment.

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
984

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian.

In judgement: the configuration of the Left’s ‘Blow across the bay!’ (ura ni fuke) and its links with the preceding and subsequent lines, sounds charming. The Right’s poem is stylistically elegant, but the poem more closely resembles a poem on the topic of ‘Love and Pine Trees’. Thus, the Left wins.

Love VII: 11

Left (Tie).
遠ざかる人の心は海原の沖行く舟の跡の潮風

tōzakaru
hito no kokoro wa
unabara no
oki yuku funa no
ato no shiokaze
Ever more distant grows
His heart:
Into the sea-plains of
The offing goes a boat,
Wake touched by the tidewinds…

Lord Sada’ie
981

Right.
わたつ海の浪のあなたに人は住む心あらなん風の通ひ路

wata tsu umi no
nami no anata ni
hito wa sumu
kokoro aranan
kaze no kayoiji
The endless sea:
Beyond its waves
Does my love live;
Had they any pity,
The winds would make my path to her!

Nobusada
982

The Gentlemen of the Right state: there are too many uses of no. Would it not have been better to reduce their number with, for example, ‘o, sea-plains!’ (unabara ya)? We also wonder about the use of ‘wake touched by the tidewinds’ (ato no shiokaze). The Gentlemen of the Left state: ‘does my love live’ (hito wa sumu) is grating on the ear.

In judgement: saying that the Left’s poem has too many identical words is clearly relying upon the long-established hornet-hip or crane-knee faults. In today’s poetry there are countless poems in which these faults can be identified. In addition, ‘into the sea-plains’ (unabara no) and ‘o, sea-plains’ (unabara ya) are the same. I may be wrong here, but it seems to me that in this poem, it has to be ‘into the sea-plains’. Finally, ‘wake touched by the tidewinds’ is elegant. As for the Right’s ‘beyond its waves does my love live’ (nami no anata ni hito wa sumu), this is not grating, is it? It seems that the Gentleman of the Right, being so well-read in Chinese scholarship, has required revisions to the faulty poem of the Left in the absence of the judge. Thus, what can a grand old fool do but make the round a tie.