Tag Archives: ducks

MYS III: 257

A poem on Mount Kagu by Kamo no Taruhito.

天之芳来山 霞立 春尓至婆 松風尓 池浪立而 櫻花 木乃晩茂尓 奥邊波 鴨妻喚 邊津方尓 味村左和伎 百礒城之 大宮人乃 退出而 遊船尓波 梶棹毛 無而不樂毛 己具人奈四二

天降りつく 天の香具山 霞立つ 春に至れば 松風に 池波立ちて 桜花 木の暗茂に 沖辺には 鴨妻呼ばひ 辺つ辺に あぢ群騒き ももしきの 大宮人の 退り出て 遊ぶ船には 楫棹も なくて寂しも 漕ぐ人なしに

ame no kaguyama
kiri tatu
paru ni itareba
matukaze ni
ikenami tatite
ko no kuresige ni
okipe ni pa
kamo tuma yobapi
petupe ni
adi murasawagi
momosiki no
opomiyabito no
asobu pune ni pa
kadisawo mo
nakute sabusi mo
kogu pito nasi ni
Descended from heaven is
Sacred Mount Kagu where
Mists arise
When the spring does come,
The wind through the pines
Raises waves from pond waters, and
Cherry blossom’s
Profusion shades the trees, while
Out in the offing,
Ducks call for a mate and
On the shore
Teals flock noisily;
The palace folk were wont to
Travel out
On pleasure boats, but
Oars and poles
Are there none—so sad—
For there’s not a soul to row them…

MYS III: 416

A poem composed by Prince Ōtsu, weeping, at Iware Pond, when he was due to die.

百傳 磐余池尓 鳴鴨乎 今日耳見哉 雲隠去牟


momo tutapu
ipare no ike ni
naku kamo wo
kepu nomi mite ya
A hundred tales
Told at Iware Pond
By the crying ducks
Do I see, today, at the last
As I vanish beyond the clouds?

MYS I: 64

When he visited the Naniwa Palace in Kyōun 3 [706]

葦邊行 鴨之羽我比尓 霜零而 寒暮夕 和之所念


asibe yuku
kamo no pagapi ni
simo purite
samuki yupube pa
yamato si omopoyu
Huddled in the reeds
Upon the ducks’ folded wings
Frost falls and
In the evening’s cold
My thoughts dwell upon Yamato.

Prince Shiki

Love VIII: 18

Left (Win)

kamo no iru
irie no nami o
kokoro nite
mune to sode to ni
sawagu koi kana
Ducks flock on
The inlet’s waves
Within my heart, so
My breast and sleeves both
Are raucous with love!

Lord Sada’ie


saogawa no
kiri no mayoi no
hodo dani mo
tsuma motomu tote
chidori naku yo o
To the vernal river:
The mist brings confusion
And in its midst,
Seeking a mate,
A plover cries at night…


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘my breast and sleeves both are raucous’ (mune to sode to ni sawagu)? The Left, in appeal, state: there is ‘the river-mouths of my sleeves’ (sode no minato) and ‘when I think, upon my breast’ (omoeba mune ni) so linking ‘breast’ and ‘sleeve’ is entirely uncontroversial. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we find no faults to mention in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: I understand the views of the Left’s poem held by both teams. It has also been said that the Right’s poem lacks faults. However, in ‘seeking a mate, a plover cries at night’ (tsuma motomu tote chidori naku yo o) only the two words ‘at night’ (yo o) have any conception of love. The remainder of the poem is simply about plovers, so there is little of love about it. ‘Breast and sleeves both’ (mune to sode to) should win.