akikaze no fukikuru koe wa yama nagara nami tachikaeru oto zo kikoyuru The autumn breeze’s Cry comes gusting; And in the mountains, The sound of waves washing back and forth Comes to my ears.
suminoe no matsu o akikaze fuku kara ni koe uchisouru oki tsu shiranami At Suminoe The pines by the autumn breeze Are blown, so The sound lies atop The whitecaps in the offing.
natsu kureba kami ni aoi no kusa tsumite kazashi ni inoru hito ni bakari zo When the summer comes For the God, hollyhocks Are plucked, and for a Prayer placed in the hair of All folk, every one!
natsu kusa mo shigerinikereba suruga naru tago no ura nae ima ya hikuran The summer grasses, too, Have grown lush, so As Suruga’s Tago Bay, Do they now extend their charm?
natsumushi no yadoru ni matsu wa iro narade haru aki sora ni utsuroi ya suru The summer insects Lodge upon the pines Unchanging hues; Is it the spring and autumn skies Which fade away?
u no hana no saku natsu no yo wa yami naredo kakine ni yadoru tsuki ka to zo miru The deutzia flowers Bloom upon a summer night ‘Tis dark, yet Lodged upon my brushwood fence I wonder if I see the moon?
satsuki kinu koto katarawamu hototogisu kimi ni auchi no hana mo sakikeri That the Fifth Month has come Is announced by The cuckoo: For you, the chinaberry Blossoms, too, have bloomed.
utsusemi no kara ni wa arade oku tsuyu no mi o aratamuru kokoro narubeshi A cicada’s shed Shell I am not, for The dripping dew Does refresh my flesh, or So my heart seems to feel.
For a folding screen in the residence of Lord Kōtoku.
Fuyu sareba arasi no kowe mo takasago no matu ni tukete zo kikubekarikeru When it is winter, The storm-winds’ howling Through Takasago’s Pines is What I hear.
[Ōnakatomi no] Yoshinobu
Gazing at snow on the mountain pines in the morning (秋山望松雪)
ori mo sezu kumo mo kakaranu yama no Fa ni matu no uFe naru yuki koso mire Not descending The clouds cling not To the mountains’ edge where Upon the pines I clearly see the snow.
yama no Fa no sayaka ni tereru asita ni Fa matu ni kakareru yuki mo miekeru The mountains’ edge is Brightly shining In the morning: Clinging to the pines I can see the snow.
From the Poetry Contest at Prince Koresada’s House.
matu no ne ni kaze no sirabe wo makasete Fa tatutaFime koso aki Fa Fikurasi Sighing through the pines The wind is being tuned Up— Princess Tatsuta The notes of autumn does seem to pluck.
Mibu no Tadamine
Next Door 隣
iro kaete furinuru mono wa toshi takaki tonari no matsu to ware to narikeri Hues do change as Age falls upon one: Towering with years have Both the pines next door and I become.
Love Waiting for Someone 待人恋
sumiyoshi no matsu to wa hito no shiraneba ya nami uchitaete kishi mo sezaran At Sumiyoshi are The pines of folk All unknowing? The waves have stopped, and Even the shore seems untouched.
sumiyoshi no matsu wa aware mo kake ya semu yasoji suginuru waka no uranami At Sumiyoshi will The pines feel compassion For me? Spending more than eighty years Washed by the waves of Waka Bay…
waka no ura no shirube to nareru oi no nami geni sumiyoshi no matsu mo shiruran To Waka Bay A guide have you become, Washed by waves of age; Truly, at Sumiyoshi The pines will know that well!
A Servant Girl 1202
hito wa kozue ni
koto no ne ni nomi
kayou matsukaze Accustomed to his being here,
Now, he comes not and from the treetops
All that endures
Are my zither’s strains,
Blending with the pines.
tsurenaki hito no
koto no ne ni
matsu no kaze o ba I will listen no more!
To that cruel man’s
With the wind from off the pines…
The Right state: it sounds as if the man is enduring on the treetops. The Left state: ‘I will listen no more!’ (
kikaji tada) is extremely coarse.
In judgement: while it may sound as if the man is enduring on the treetops in the Left’s poem, this is no more than a standard use of metaphorical expression, and the configuration of ‘accustomed to his being here, now, he comes not and from the treetops’ (
suminareshi hito wa kozue ni) sounds fine, with the latter part of the poem also being elegant. The initial line of the Right’s poem has a conception of closing up the ears to block one’s auditory sense, which seems excessive. Clearly, the Left’s ‘my zither’s strains’ ( koto no ne ni nomi) must win.
kikishiru hito wa
koishiki koto no
ne koso taesene To be moved
By hearing is there
No one, yet
My beloved zither’s
Strains sound on and on…
koto no ne mo
matsu ni wa kayou
mono to koso kike Carelessly and
My zither’s strains
Blend with the pines
I had heard…
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Left state: the Right’s poem is not bad.
In judgement: both Gentlemen’s ‘zithers’ (
koto) appear to be equally elegant, and the Right has a fine final section. The Left seems pleasant in both the initial and latter sections. So, the Left wins.