Tag Archives: brushwood

Winter II: 10

Left (Win).

吉野山篠の假寢に霜冴えて松風早し深ぬ此夜は

yoshinoyama
suzu no karine ni
shimo saete
matsukaze hayashi
fukenu kono yo wa
Upon Mt Yoshino,
In fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo,
The frost falls chill, indeed, and
The wind gusts through the pines,
With the fall of night.

Kenshō.

559

Right.

外山なる柴の編戸は風過て霰横ぎる松の音かな

toyamanaru
shiba no amido wa
kaze sugite
arare yokogiru
matsu no oto kana
On the mountains’ edge
My woven brushwood door
Is pierced by the wind;
Hearing hail blown horizontal
Against the pines…

Jakuren.

560

Both Left and Right are exaggerated in their insistence that the other’s poem lacks any faults.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘Upon Mt Yoshino, in fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo’ (yoshinoyama suzu no karine ni) would seem to suggest an ascetic who, having travelled into the mountains, has made himself a hut from bamboo and pillowed upon the tree roots, would it not? But here he seems to have simply cut them down, spread them out and lain upon them! In addition, ‘The wind gusts through the pines’ (matsukaze hayashi) fails to sound elegant [yū ni shi kikoezaru]. The Right, by starting with ‘On the mountains’ edge’ (toyamanaru), suggests that the poet is speaking of his own dwelling’s door in the mountains. ‘Hearing hail blown horizontal against the pines’ (arare yokogiru matsu no oto) also just does not sound appropriate. Both poems have an exaggerated feeling [kotogotoshikaran to wa kokorozashite], and I cannot grasp who they are referring to. However, the Left’s poem is, still, somewhat superior.

Autumn I: 29

Left.

昨日まで蓬に閉ぢし柴の戸も野分に晴るゝ岡の邊の里

kinō made
yomogi ni tojishi
shiba no to mo
nowaki ni haruru
oka no be no sato
Until yesterday
Sealed by mugwort was
This brushwood door;
Swept clear by the gale
The hills around my dwelling.

A Servant Girl.

357

Right.

假にさす庵までこそ靡きけれ野分に堪へぬ小野の篠原

kari ni sasu
iori made koso
nabikikere
nowaki ni taenu
ono no shinohara
Roughly thatched,
Even my hut
Has blown away:
Unable to endure the gales
Amongst the arrow bamboo groves…

Ietaka.

358

Both teams say they can appreciate the sentiment of the opposing team’s poem.

Shunzei agrees: ‘Both the Left’s “hills around my dwelling” (oka no be no sato) and the Right’s “arrow bamboo groves” (ono no shinohara) are charming. “Sealed by mugwort was this brushwood door; swept clear by the gale” (yomogi ni tojishi shiba no to mo nowaki ni haruru) and “Even my hut has blown away: unable to endure the gales” (iori made koso nabikikere nowaki ni taenu) have no failings in form between them. Thus, the round ties.’

Spring II: 7

Left.

立つ雉のなるゝ野原もかすみつゝ子を思ふ道や春まどふらん

tatsu kiji no
naruru nohara mo
kasumitsutsu
ko o omou michi ya
haru madouran
The flying pheasants
Know these fields so well, yet
Haze-covered,
The fond way to their fledglings
Does it sink springtime in confusion…?

Lord Sada’ie

73

Right (Win).

鳴て立つきゞすの宿を尋ぬれば裾野の原の柴の下草

nakitetatsu
kigisu no yado o
tasunureba
susono no hara no
shiba no shitagusa
The crying, flying
Pheasants’ lodging
Should you seek out, look
In meadows on the mountains’ skirts
Among the brushwood undergrowth…

Nobusada

74

The Right team wonder whether ‘know a field well’ (hara ni naruru) isn’t a bit ‘modern’ for poetry. Furthermore, ‘sink springtime in confusion’ (haru madouran) ‘seems to be missing something’ (by this they probably mean that you would expect the expression to be haru ni madouran, with the grammatical structure more clearly expressed). The Left team respond that the first line of the Right’s poem ‘grates on the ear’ and wonder, ‘What one is to make of “pheasants’ lodgings” (kigisu no yado)?’, meaning that traditional poetic expression called for ‘warblers’ lodgings’ (uguisu no yado).

Shunzei rather harshly says that the Left’s poem is ‘poorly constructed and unacceptable in both spirit and diction,’ wondering whether there was ‘a single school which would not find fault with it on the grounds of both logic and poetic form’? It would be possible to say ‘flying pheasants’ springtime confusion’ (tatsu kigisu no haru madou), and this would ‘not require any criticism’, just as ‘crying, flying pheasants’ lodging’ does not. Furthermore, the Right’s final stanza, ‘Among the brushwood undergrowth’ (shiba no shitagusa) is ‘particularly pleasant’ and so the Right’s poem must be awarded the victory.