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Love X: 14

Left (Win)
我恋はあまのさかてを打ち返し思ときてや世をも恨みん

wa ga koi wa
ama no sakate o
uchikaeshi
omoi tokite ya
yo o mo uramin
My love:
With my diver girl’s hands raised to heaven
I cast back
Knowing of these pains of love
The world is all despair!

Lord Kanemune
1167

Right
衣手はしほたるれどもみるめをばかづかぬ海人となりにけるかな

koromode wa
shiotaruredomo
mirume o ba
kazukanu ama to
narinikeru kana
Though my sleeves
Are drenched, as
Unable to catch a glimpse of seaweed
Like a hapless diver-girl
Have I become.

Lord Tsune’ie
1168

The Right state: there are various possible interpretations for ama no sakate. In addition, is it appropriate to compose a poem from the diver-girl’s perspective? The Left state: there is nothing to mention in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: the Left’s ama no sakate is not a particularly good expression, but I see no fault in composing from the diver-girl’s perspective. In recent times, people have come up with alternate interpretations for the phrase, but I see no reason for them. This old fool long ago composed a poem in this way. So I wonder, should I criticise my own composition? There is evidence for this in the Tales of Ise, and other texts, too. However, in poetry competitions, ama no sakate fails to sound appropriate. The Right’s diver-girl with sleeves drenched by the tide and unable to harvest seaweed seems incapable. She cannot be a genuine diver-girl. The Left’s sakate is not that elegant, but the girl is genuine. It wins.

Love IX: 27

Left (Tie)
憂き身ゆへよがるる床のさむしろはしき忍び忍びてもかひやなからむ

ukimi yue
yogaruru toko no
samushiro wa
shikishinobitemo
kai ya nakaramu
My cruelty was it that
Kept him from my bed these many nights;
My blanket:
Should I spread it and think of him alone,
Would that have no effect at all?

Lord Kanemune
1133

Right
恋わびぬむなしき床のさむしろに幾夜いくたび寝覚しつらん

koiwabinu
munashiki toko no
samushiro ni
ikuyo ikutabi
nezameshitsuran
Sick am I of love –
In an empty bed’s
Blankets
How many nights, how many times,
Must I awake?

Nobusada
1134

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

In judgement: both of the ‘blankets’ (samushiro) of the Left and Right here seem elegant. The configuration of the Left’s ‘my cruelty was it that kept him from my bed these many nights; my blanket’ (ukimi yue yogaruru toko no samushiro) and the conception of the Right’s ‘sick am I of love – in an empty bed’s’ (koiwabinu munashiki toko no) are such that I find both difficult to put down. I must make the round a tie.

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.

KKS XIX: 1004

An ancient-styled poem to supplement a long poem.

君が世に相坂山の岩清水木隠れたりと思ける哉

kimi ga yo ni
aFusakayama no
iFasimidu
kogakuretari to
omoFikeru kana
Your Majesty’s reign
Is welcome so, as on the mount of Meeting Hill,
Spring water from the crags
Is hidden in the trees, thus
I am I sunk in thought!

Mibu no Tadamine

Love IX: 13

Left (Win)
主やたれ見ぬ世の色を写しをく筆のすさびにうかぶ面影

nushi ya tare
minu yo no iro o
utsushioku
fude no susabi ni
ukabu omokage
Who painted you?
Unseen in this present world, hues,
Reflected by
A comforting brush,
Bring her visage before me…

Lord Sada’ie
1105

Right
水茎の跡に堰きをく瀧津瀬をまことに落とすわが涙かな

mizukuki no
ato ni sekioku
taki tsu se o
makoto ni otosu
wa ga namida kana
Faint brush-strokes
Traces place a barrier, but
A cataract in torrents
Truly drops –
My tears…

Jakuren
1106

The Right state: the Left’s poem is rather casual about the person whom he loves. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults we can identify.

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the Right have stated that the Left seems somewhat blasé about the object of his affections, and this is certainly true. The Right’s poem, though, says that the poet is looking at a painting on something like a folding screen, where a waterfall is depicted, and he weeps in reality – this seems like he was simply moved by the painting. I feel that there is a stronger conception of love in seeing a painting and fondly recalling the face of one now long gone, than there is in being moved by the sight of a mountain stream.

Love IX: 5

Left
笛竹のただ人ふしを契とてよよの恨を残せとや思ふ

fuetake no
tada hitofushi o
chigiri tote
yoyo no urami o
nokose to ya omou
A bamboo flute has
But a single joint – and for but one night
Did we join together, so
Night after night of despair
Did you think to leave behind?

Lord Sada’ie
1089

Right (Win)
はるばると浪路分来る笛竹をわが恋妻と思はましかば

harubaru to
namiji wakekuru
fuetake o
wa ga koizuma to
omowamashikaba
Along the distant
Sea-lanes, forging, came
A bamboo flute:
My own true love –
If only I could think it that!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1090

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults to mention. The Left state: the Right’s poem has not faults to point out.

In judgement: ‘night after night of despair’ (yoyo no urami o) in the Left’s poem sounds profound, but in actual fact is quite prosaic. In the Right’s poem, ‘sea-lanes, forging, came a bamboo flute’ (namiji wakekuru takefue o) has, I think, the contemporary conception of ‘it has come forging through many waves’. It seems evocative. Thus, the Right must win.

Love IX: 4

Left (Tie)
うらやましわがりこちくと笛の音を頼むる中の人は聞くらん

urayamashi
wagari kochiku to
fue no ne o
tanomuru naka no
hito wa kikuran
O, how I envious I am!
To my house comes, a bamboo
Flute’s strains – from
A trustworthy, loving
Man, it sounds…

Lord Suetsune
1087

Right
より竹の君によりけんことぞ憂き一夜のふしに音のみ泣かれて

yoritake no
kimi ni yoriken
koto zo uki
hitoyo no fushi ni
ne nomi nakarete
Bamboo flotsam –
That you should draw near
Is cruel, indeed, for
A single night together, brings
Only the sound of weeping…

Lord Tsune’ie
1088

‘Flotsam of bamboo’ (yoritake) and ‘comes, a bamboo’ (kochiku) are equally unsatisfying.

In judgement: ‘Flotsam of bamboo’ and ‘comes, a bamboo’ are of equal quality.

Love VIII: 25

Left
起きもゐで年ふる戀はをのづから常世の神やしるし見すべき

oki mo ide
toshi furu koi wa
onozukara
tokoyo no kami ya
shirushi misubeki
Unable to arise
From love these many years,
May I
By the eternal gods
Be shown a sign!

Kenshō
1069

Right (Win)
獨臥すながながし夜のかなしきを語らひあかすきりぎりす哉

hitori fusu
naganagashi yo no
kanashiki o
katarai akasu
kirigirisu kana
Lying alone,
So long, long the night’s
Sorrow;
Lightening it with chatter
Are the crickets!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1070

The Gentlemen of the Right state: what is the meaning of ‘the eternal gods’ (toko no kami). In appeal, the Left: in the Chronicles of Japan, insects are worshipped under the name of ‘the eternal gods’ and made to seem like men. The Left state: what can an insect chatter about?

In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, while it is true that insects were worshipped, a poem on ‘Love and Insects’ with no insect is lacking something from the start. This poem would seem to be more a case of ‘Love and Prayers’. Thus, this is nothing enduring. A prior example has been contrived, but this is ineffective. It does not seem as if this insect’s nature has any relation to the topic. The Right’s poem has a commonplace cricket. Where is the fault in having it lighten one’s mood with chatter? Thus, the Right must win.