Tag Archives: wind

KKS II: 118

A poem from a poetry competition held by Her Majesty, the Empress, during the Kanpyō period.

吹風と谷の水としなかりせば深山がくれの花を見ましや

Fuku kaze to
tani no midu to si
nakariseba
miyama gakure no
Fana wo mimasi ya
The gusting wind and
The valley’s waters
Were there none, then
Hidden in the mountains’ depths
These blossoms – would any wish to see them?

Tsurayuki

Love IX: 12

Left (Win)
住みなれし人はこずゑに絶えはてて琴の音にのみ通ふ松風

suminareshi
hito wa kozue ni
taehatete
koto no ne ni nomi
kayou matsukaze
Accustomed to his being here,
Now, he comes not and from the treetops
All that endures
Are my zither’s strains,
Blending with the pines.

Lord Ari’ie
1103

Right
聞かじただつれなき人の琴の音にいとはず通ふ松の風をば

kikaji tada
tsurenaki hito no
koto no ne ni
itowazu kayou
matsu no kaze o ba
I will listen no more!
To that cruel man’s
Zither strains
Heedlessly blending
With the wind from off the pines…

Nobusada
1104

The Right state: it sounds as if the man is enduring on the treetops. The Left state: ‘I will listen no more!’ (kikaji tada) is extremely coarse.

In judgement: while it may sound as if the man is enduring on the treetops in the Left’s poem, this is no more than a standard use of metaphorical expression, and the configuration of ‘accustomed to his being here, now, he comes not and from the treetops’ (suminareshi hito wa kozue ni) sounds fine, with the latter part of the poem also being elegant. The initial line of the Right’s poem has a conception of closing up the ears to block one’s auditory sense, which seems excessive. Clearly, the Left’s ‘my zither’s strains’ (koto no ne ni nomi) must win.

Love IX: 9

Left
あはぬまは琴柱も知らずひく琴の聞きにくきまで音にや立ててむ

awanu ma wa
kotoji mo shirazu
hiku kono no
kikinikuki made
ne ni ya tatetemu
Yet untuned, and
Ignorant of where to place the bridge,
Playing such a zither is
Hard to hear, as
Are my constant sobs, perhaps…

Lord Kanemune
1097

Right (Win)
松風も琴のしらべに通ふなりわがひとり寝ぞ逢ふよしもなき

matsukaze mo
koto no shirabe ni
kayou nari
wa ga hitorine zo
au yoshi mo naki
The wind in the pines, as
Zithers’ harmony
Does blend;
Yet I am sleeping solo, with
No cause to meet at all…

Lord Tsune’ie
1098

The Right state: the Left’s poem is preposterous. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: the Left’s poem seems to be aping the style of the Left in the previous round. As for the Right’s poem, although ‘zithers’ harmony’ (koto no shirabe) sounds modern, it is in a standard style. It should win.

Love IX: 8

Left
恋妻はあらぬしらべしらべの琴の緒かあふことかたき音のみ絶えせぬ

koizuma wa
aranu shirabe no
koto no o ka
au koto kataki
ne nomi taesenu
My beloved wife:
Is it that untuned are
Our zithers’ strings?
So there is no harmony, and
Only my sobs are ceaseless…

Lord Suetsune
1095

Right (Win)
松風に通ふと聞きし琴の音も物思ふ時は身にぞしみける

matsukaze ni
kayou to kikishi
koto no ne mo
mono’omou toki wa
mi ni zo shimikeru
The wind in the pines
Resembles, I had heard,
A zither’s strains that, too,
When sunk in gloomy thought
Dye one so deeply…

Jakuren
1096

The Right state: saying ‘our zithers’ strings?’ (koto no o ka) is unsatisfactory. The Left state: if one is not depressed, would one not be deeply affected?

In judgement: the Left certainly sounds as if something is out of tune! The Right’s poem says that on hearing the wind pass through the pine trees, one would be affected. It sounds by no means distant from the topic. Thus, the Right wins.