Tag Archives: doze

Autumn I: 17

Left (Win).


hakanashi ya
aretaru yado no
utatane ni
inazuma kayou
tamakura no tsuyu
How brief it was!
In a ruined dwelling
Dozing, when
Lightning crossed
The dewdrops on my pillowing arm…

A Servant Girl.




sawa no hotaru wa
kage kiete
taedae yadoru
yoi no inazuma
All together have
The fireflies above the marsh
Lost their light;
Briefly remaining,
Lightning at the dusk…



The Right state that they have no criticisms of the Left’s poem. The Left wonder about the suitability of fireflies disappearing in the autumn.

Shunzei feels, ‘The Left’s poem is certainly charming in form and expression, but more thought should have been given to the initial phrase “How brief it was!” (hakanashi ya). The Right’s poem, too, is charming, and as for fireflies being a topic for summer poetry alone, in autumn it is acceptable to compose on the failing of their light, is it not? Did not Anjin compose “Fireflies flashing on the palace stairs and gates/Crickets crying from the eaves and tiles”? There is also the example from the Collection of Songs to Sing Aloud of “Seeking cuckoo calls in the dawntime clouds/Innumerable fireflies flit among the autumn grasses”. Still, the Left’s “dewdrops on my pillowing arm” wins, I think.’

Summer I: 30

Left (Win).


natsu no yo wa
naruru shimizu no
musubu hodo naki
utatane no yume
On a summer night
Trickling water cools
Beside my drifting pillow;
No time to dip it
In a brief dozy dream.

Lord Sada’ie.




natsu no yo no
kazu ni mo ireji
kinakanu saki ni
akuru shinonome
Among summer nights’
Number I’ll not count this one:
Before the cuckoo
Can come calling
Comes the dark before bright dawn.



The Right wonder ‘whether “Trickling water beside my drifting pillow” (shimizu no ukimakura) is something that’s likely to occur?’ while the Right counter, ‘and what of “Among summer nights’ number I’ll not count this one” (natsu no yo no kazu ni mo ireji) – it seems somewhat excessive an expression.’ Shunzei states testily, ‘The gentlemen of the Right’s questioning of “drifting pillow” (ukimakura) is absurd, for has there not long been the image of pillowing on a flow? The Right’s “Among summer nights’ number I’ll not count this one”, unavoidably incurs criticism from the gentlemen of the Left. In addition, the Left’s final line is most fine. It should win.’

Spring III: 2

Left (Win).


haru no hi wa
tanomuru naka ni
mono ni zo arikeru
The days of Spring for
Longing love affairs
Are unsuited, yet
In yearning for dusk,
Do they go by…

Lord Suetsune.




haru no hi no
tsurezure ni
ikutabi kyō
hirune shitsuran
The hours in spring are
Hard to endure, as
In idleness,
How many times, today,
Have I dozed in daytime?

Lord Tsune’ie.


Both teams say they don’t think much thought has gone into the other’s poem.

Shunzei takes the opportunity here to show off his erudition, saying, ‘In the Right’s poem, doing such a thing as many times as Zai Yu would be appallingly lazy, would it not? The Left’s “yearning for dusk” (kurashiwazurau), however, is a superb expression. I must make them the winner.”