Tag Archives: yoru

Love VII: 29

Left.
葛城や久米路の橋にあらねども絶えぬる中は渡る物かは

kazuragi ya
kumeji no hashi ni
aranedomo
taenuru naka wa
wataru mono ka wa
At Kazuragi
The bridge of Kumeji
It is not, yet
Can a relationship that’s done
Ever continue on?

Lord Suetsune
1017

Right (Win).
葛城や渡しもはてぬ岩橋も夜の契はありとこそ聞け

kazuragi ya
watashi mo hatenu
iwabashi mo
yoru no chigiri wa
ari to koso kike
At Kazuragi lies
The unfinished
Bridge of stone:
A vow at night
There was, I hear!

Ietaka
1018

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

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘the bridge of Kazuragi, while the Left has ‘a relationship that’s done’ (taenuru naka). As the bridge, from the very beginning, was never finished, it is not appropriate to say that it is ‘done’. ‘A vow at night’ (yoru no chigiri) seems to be referring to Kodaigimi’s ‘cannot endure’ (taenubeshi). The Right has certainly matched the conception of the bridge. Thus, I make the Right the winner.

KKS XII: 559

A poem from the Empress’ Poetry Competition held in the Kanpyō period.

住の江の岸による浪夜さへや夢の通ひ路人目よくらむ

suminoe no
kisi ni yoru nami
yoru saFe ya
yume no kayoFidi
Fitome yokuramu
As to Suminoe’s
Shore rush the waves
Why every night
Upon the path of dreams
Do I hide from other’s eyes?

Fujiwara no Toshiyuki
藤原敏行

Love IV: 28

Left (Win).
頼めぬを待ちつる宵も過果てゝつらさ閉ぢむる片敷の床

tanomenu o
machitsuru yoi mo
sugihatete
turasa tojimuru
katashiki no toko
He did not say he’d come, and so
To waiting through the night
I have put an end,
Sealing my unhappiness
In a single bed…

Lord Sada’ie.
835

Right.
我戀や衛士の焚く火となりぬらん夜のみひとり燃えあかす哉

wa ga koi ya
eshi no taku hi to
narinuran
yoru nomi hitori
moeakasu kana
Has my love, like
Conscripts’ kindled flame
Become?
Through the night alone
Afire?

Lord Tsune’ie.
836

The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of both ‘sealing’ (tojimuru) and ‘a single bed’ (katashiki no toko). The Left state: it sounds as if the ‘conscripts’ kindled flame’ (eshi no taku hi) is alone.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, beginning with ‘to waiting through the night I have put an end’ (machitsuru yoi mo sugihatete) and then continuing with ‘sealing my unhappiness’ (tsurasa tojimuru) does not sound bad, but ‘single bed’ should surely have been ‘sleeve’ (sode). The ‘conscripts kindled flame’ would certainly not have been ‘burning alone’ (hitori moyu). The Left should win, it seems.

Love IV: 26

Left (Win).
慰めてまどろむ程の戀ならば夜さへ物は思はざらまし

nagusamete
madoromu hodo no
koi naraba
yoru sae mono wa
omowazaramashi
Feeling some relief,
Enough, at least, to doze:
If that was my love, then
Until the fall of night
I would wish to avoid these gloomy thoughts.

Lord Suetsune.
831

Right.
目に見えぬ夜こそまされ天雲のよそに成行く人のつらさは

me ni mienu
yoru koso masare
amagumo no
yoso ni nariyuku
hito no tsurasa wa
When all goes unseen
At night, it overwhelms me:
The cloudy heavens’
Distance, where he has gone
So heartlessly.

Ietaka.
832

The Right state: there are no faults to indicate. The Left state: we wonder about the suitability of the impression conveyed by ‘When all goes unseen at night’ (me ni mienu yoru) on hearing it.

In judgement: the poem of the Right, with its ‘The cloudy heavens’ distance, where he has gone’ (amagumo no yoso ni nariyuku) is elegant, but it is certain that ‘When all goes unseen’ (me ni mienu) recalls the expression from the Kokin Preface, ‘unseen gods and demons’. The Left’s poem sounds pleasantly realised from beginning to end. It should win.

Love II: 7

Left (Win).

葛城や夜の契りは空しきに物思ふ橋はなどや途絶えぬ

kuzuragi ya
yoru no chigiri wa
munashiki ni
mono’omou hashi wa
nado ya todaenu
Just as Kuzuragi,
A night’s vow
Is empty, yet
My longing’s end:
Why does it never come?

Kenshō.

673

Right.

頼むるに露の命をかけつればこの言の葉ぞ置き所なき

tanomuru ni
tsuyu no inochi o
kaketsureba
kono koto no ha zo
okidokoro naki
Trustworthy for
A dewdrop life’s
Length, but
These words of yours
Will find no place here…

Lord Tsune’ie.

674

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem contains a significant amount of less than desirable diction. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we have nothing in particular to mention.

Shunzei’s judgement: while the Left’s ‘Why does it never come?’ (nado ya todaenu) is certainly undesirable, the initial section is most tasteful [yū]. The Right’s ‘dewdrop life long’ (tsuyu no inochi o kaku) ‘words’ (koto no ha) seems hackneyed, so still, ‘Kuzuragi Bridge’ should stand as the winner.

Summer II: 17

Left (Tie).

をのづからなさけぞみゆる荒手組む賤がそともの夕顔の花

onozukara
nasake zo miyuru
arate kumu
shizu ga soto mo no
yūgao no hana
How natural
To be moved:
Twined roughly round the fence
Outside a peasant’s hut,
Moonflower blooms…

Kenshō.

273

Right (Tie).

山賤の契のほどや忍ぶらん夜をのみ待つ夕顔の花

yamagatsu no
chigiri no hodo ya
shinoburan
yoru o nomi matsu
yūgao no hana
Is it with the mountain man
Her time is pledged
So secretly?
For the night alone, awaiting,
The moonflower bloom.

Jakuren.

274

The Right state, ‘it is normal diction to say ‘roughly’ (arate) ‘hang’ (kaku). Is it possible to also use ‘twine’ (kumu)?’ In response from the Left, ‘Yes, one can.’ The Left have no criticisms to make of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei states, ‘Both poems are equally lacking in faults or merits. Whether one uses “roughly” twining or hanging, neither is particularly superlative, I think. “Her time is pledged” (chigiri no hodo ya) seems somehow lacking , too. This round must tie.’