sakura chiru ko no shitakaze wa samukarade sora ni shirarenu yuki zo furikeru The cherry scattering Breeze beneath the trees Lacks chill— Unaware from within the skies The snow is falling.
wa ga kokoro haru no yamabe ni akugarete naganagashi hi o kyō mo kurashitsu My heart to The mountainside in springtime Is drawn— The long, long day Today, too, has reached its dusk.
The Left wins. ‘The Right has “long, long” which is a disagreeable word. It was hissed through pursed lips with drooping shoulders,’ and so it lost.
[i] This poem is included in Shūishū (I: 64), with the headnote, ‘From Former Emperor Uda’s Poetry Contest’.
[ii] This poem is included in Shinkokinshū (I: 81), attributed to Tsurayuki with the headnote ‘A poem from Former Emperor Uda’s Poetry Contest’.
haru no hi wa soma yama tōki sato nare ya kure matsu hodo no kokoro tomonaki The spring sun: not only do Timber mountains’ distant Dwellings Awaiting dusk Feel it…
usi to omoFu
kokoro ni kesa Fa
munasikaramasi Feeling hopeless,
To my heart has this morning
The hour of dusk is
What I wish were brief…
Minamoto no Shigeyuki
oboroke ni ya Fa
wa ga Fito o matu Drizzle at
The hour of dusk
Makes the moonlight
As I await my man…
Ōshikōchi no Mitsune
mono kanasiki ni
pabuki naku sigi
ta ga ta ni ka sumu I cannot wait for spring;
At the dusk,
The snipe cry and beat their wings –
I wonder, whose is the field where they take their ease?
Ōtomo no Yakamochi
ukimi ni naruru
tsurenaki hito no
kokoro tomo gana To sleeping alone
In desolation am I accustomed;
O, that the autumn wind were
My cruel love’s
fukikuru aki no
koisenu hito mo
mi ni ya shimuran In the evening’s dusk
Comes blowing autumn’s
Will one who loves not
Be pierced as am I?
Both Left and Right together state: we have nothing we feel we should say.
In judgement: the final section of the Left’s poem is clichéd. I also wonder about the sound of ‘in desolation am I’ (
ukimi). The Right’s poem has nothing particularly remarkable about it, but it should win
michi yukibito mo
kon to tanomeyo
kono yūke ni wa Jewelled spear straight
The road for this traveller:
If he longs for me,
Let it say, ‘Come with me!’,
This evening’s fortune!
au koto o
tanomuru kure to
iriai no kane mo
ureshikaramashi ‘We will meet,
On that you can rely, at dusk,’
He made me think, so
The sunset bell, too,
Does seem full of joy!
The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
The Right state: evening fortune-telling and crossroad divination are different things. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults.
In judgement: both evening fortune-telling and crossroad divination are conducted in the evening, and with either one could wish ‘Let it say, “Come with me!”’ (
kon to tanomeyo), so this does not seem to be a mistake does it? The Right has the fault of having both ‘We will meet’ ( au koto o) and ‘sunset bell, too’ ( iriai no kane mo). The Left should win.