Tag Archives: years

Love VII: 1

Left (Tie).
年を經て茂るなげきをこりもせでなど深からん物思ひの山

toshi o hete
shigeru nageki o
kori mo sede
nado fukakaran
mono’omoi no yama
The years go by and
My ever verdant grief
Is never felled;
Why am I so deep
In mountains of gloomy thought?

Kenshō.
961

Right.
君にわれ深く心を筑波山しげきなげきにこりはてぬ哉

kimi ni ware
fukaku kokoro o
tsukubayama
shigeki nageki ni
korihatenu kana
You for me
Had deep thoughts once –
All gone now, yet on Tsukuba Mountain
My ever verdant grief
Remains unfelled…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
962

The Right state: we are not familiar with the expression ‘mountains of gloomy thought’ (mono’omoi no yama) used in the Left’s poem. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing significant to say.

In judgement: both poems use the wordplay of ‘ever verdant grief’ (shigeki nageki) and a ‘heart unfelled’ (korinu kokoro); they have no particular merits or faults. The round ties.

Love VI: 19

Left.
下とをる涙に袖も朽ちはてゝ着るかひもなき雨衣かな

shita tōru
namida ni sode mo
kuchihatete
kiru kai mo naki
amagoromo kana
Right through to below
With tears are even my sleeves
Quite rotted;
Putting it on would be pointless
This raincoat of mine!

Kenshō.
937

Right (Win).
戀ゆへに身を知る雨の年を經て心のうちにかき曇るらむ

koi yue ni
mi o shiru ame no
toshi o hete
kokoro no uchi ni
kakikumoruramu
For love
The rain knows how I feel full well
Down through the years
Within my heart
The clouds grow ever thicker…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office.
938

The Right state: the Left’s ‘right through to below’ (shita tōruʼ) sounds as if the poet is passing below the palace! The Left state: in this poem it is not at all clear why it is that ‘the rain knows how I feel full well’ (mi o shiru ame).

In judgement: the Left, by using ‘right through to below’, has forgotten that ‘raincoat’ (amagoromo) evokes the sense of a salt-hut and, because there is nothing in the poem to suggest a location by the sea, amagoromo appears to be the clothing of a nun, or something similar. As for the Right’s ‘the rain knows how I feel full well’, it is simply ‘for love’. This seems plain to me. The Right wins.

Love V: 18

Left (Tie).
戀しとは便りにつけていひやりつ年は返りぬ人は歸らず

koishi to wa
tayori ni tsukete
iiyaritsu
toshi wa kaerinu
hito wa kaerazu
I love you,
I put in a letter, and
Sent it off;
The years have gone by, but
He has not returned.

A Servant Girl
875

Right.
遥かなり幾草枕結びてかその下紐の解けんとすらん

harukanari
iku kusamakura
musubite ka
sono shitahimo no
token to sururan
A great distance –
How many times pillowed on the grass?
Tied tight
My under-belt –
I wonder when I will undo it?

Nobusada
876

The Right state: the Left’s poem seems comic. The Left state: the initial line of the Right’s poems does not seem to have much to say.

In judgement: I wonder if it really is comic? It’s just a poem in one particular style. The conception of the poem ‘I do not await / The new year, yet it is here; / The Winter plants’ is especially charming. As for the Right, the Gentlemen have stated that the first line ‘has nothing much to say’, but I feel it is appropriately placed. Furthermore, I wonder what to think about the final ‘my under-belt’ (sono shitahimo), but, then again, the configuration of ‘How many times pillowed on the grass’ (iku kusa makura) is evocative. The poems are comparable, and again, they tie. Alas, my judgement here suggests I know nothing of poetry. It is most difficult when one realises how times have changed. How sad it is…

Love V: 10

Left (Tie).
年を經て遂に逢べき中ならば齢ばかりを歎かざらまし

toshi o hete
tsui ni aubeki
naka naraba
yowai bakari o
nagekazaramashi
If the years go by, and
Finally, that we meet
Should come to pass,
Just our youth
Should not be a source of grief!

Lord Suetsune.
859

Right.
比べ來し振分髪のそのかみも終の思やなを遊びけん

kurabekoshi
furiwakegami no
sono kami mo
tsui no omoi ya
nao asobiken
We did match
Our hair, bunched on either side:
Back then,
That, at last, our passions would
Join – I wonder, did we know it?

Nobusada.
860

The Right state: the conception of youth is lacking. The Left state: the initial part simply resembles the original poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, from beginning to end, uses nothing but commonplace diction. The Right’s poem, too, really says nothing beyond the sense of its origin poem. The poems are of the same quality.