Tag Archives: drifting clouds

SKKS XII: 1134

On the conception of love, in a hundred poem sequence.


au koto no
munashiki sora no
ukigumo wa
mi o shiru ame no
tayori narikeri
Meeting you is
A vain hope—empty as the skies, where
Drifting clouds are
The rainfall of my misery’s

Prince Kore’akira

An allusive variation on KKS XIV: 705.

Tadamishū 163

When His Majesty was particularly impressed by his reply, and presented him with two rolls of silk.


kinō made
uramishi kaze wa
ōzora no
ukikumo harau
tsukai narikeri
Until yesterday
I did despise the wind:
The heavens
Sweeping clear of drifting clouds –
That was its task.

Mibu no Tadami

Horikawa-in Enjo Awase 10


mono’omou hito wa
ukigumo no
sora ni koisuru
na o nomi zo tatsu
I kept it secret, yet
She, who is the focus of my thoughts, is
As a drifting cloud
Within the sky, and of my love
Rumours, alone, do rise toward her.

Middle Captain Morotoki, Fourth Rank


koisu to mo
ikade ka sora ni
na wa tataji
shinoburu hodo wa
sode ni tsutsumade
You love, so
How is it that the skies
Could remain untouched by rumours?
Your secret
You’ve not kept wrapped within your sleeves…

Lady Aki, in service to the Empress Dowager

Eikyū hyakushu 497



fuku kaze ni
tadayou sora no
ukigumo o
itsu made yoso no
mono to ka wa mi
With the gusting wind
Scudding through the skies go
The drifting clouds
How long until distant
Objects they might become?

Higo, from the Residence of the Kyōgoku Regent

Love VI: 11

Left (Tie).

wa ga koi ya
hareyuku mama no
sora no kumo
yoso ni nomi shite
kienubeki kana
Is my love
As the clearing
Clouds with within the skies?
While you remain distant
Must I fade away…

Lord Ari’ie.


neya moru tsuki mo
kage kiete
hitori kanashiki
ukigumo no sora
From my
Bedchamber the flooding moon
Light has vanish;
To be alone is sad, as
The heartless drifting, clouds.

Lord Takanobu.

The Right state: the central line of the Left’s poem is stiff. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no particular faults.

In judgement: the statements in regard to both poems are at variance with my own opinion. I will refrain from expressing that here, although I do regret that, somewhat. If, indeed, a central line is core, then it is better for it to lack connection with the remainder of the poem. In the case of the Left’s poem, however, it seems well linked with what follows. As for the Right’s poem, ‘bedchamber the flooding moon’ (neya moru tsuki) is not phrasing which is acceptable to me. However, the Left’s initial section seems pleasant, and the Right’s final section is elegant. Thus, the round is a tie.

Love VI: 9


koi wabite
kokoro sora naru
ukigumo ya
yukue mo shirazu
hate ha narubeki
Suffering with love
My heart is as the sky-bound
Drifting clouds:
In some unknown place
Is where it will end…

Lord Kanemune.

Right (Win).

koi shinuru
yowa no kemuri no
kumo to naraba
kimi ga yado ni ya
wakite shiguren
Should I die of love, and
Final smoke
Clouds become,
To your dwelling will I
Drift and descend?


The Right state: does the Left’s poem really expresses the love of drifting clouds? The Left state: the Right’s poem is more suited to the topic of ‘Love and Smoke’.

In judgement: with regard to the Left’s poem, Lady Sagami’s poem from the Eishō Imperial Palace Poetry Competition: ‘Before I know it/In my heart, sky-bound/is my love’ (itsu to naku/kokoro sora naru/wa ga koi ya) would be a good prior example, but this poem inserts ‘drifting clouds’ (ukigumo ya), which is illogical. As for the Right’s poem, ‘To your dwelling will I drift and descend?’ (kimi ga yado ni ya wakite shiguren) sounds fine. Thus, and for this reason, the Right wins.