tsurashi to mo iza ya ikaga wa iwashimizu ause madaki ni tayuru kokoro wa How cruel! Why as Spring waters rushing from the rocks did Our meeting swiftly Did you wish to end?
Kazusa, in service to the Empress
yo yo futomo taeji to zo omou kamigaki no iwane o kuguru mizu no kokoro wa Age upon age may pass, yet Never shall we end, I feel, as from The sacred precinct’s Rocky roots flow Waters—that is my heart!
yamazato wa tani no shitamizu tsurara ite iwa utsu nami no oto dani mo sezu At a mountain retreat The waters in the valley below Have turned to icicles, and Of waves striking the rocks There is no sound, at all.
tsurara ite mamoru iwama no seki nareba yo o hete kataku narimasaru kana Icicles hang Warding the space between the rocks, and Forming a barrier, so As the night goes by their hardness Grows even greater!
Mandarin Ducks 鴛鴦
oshidori mo kuguru iwane no usukōri kesa ya uwage ni tojikasanuran The mandarins do Dive beneath the ice-film Round the rocks; I wonder, will their down this morning Be clogged with crystal layers?
From the beach at Ajiro in Ise.
iso ni saku
aziro no wogiku
tama to zo tomemu
nami no sitagusa Blooming on the rocks
Ajiro’s tiny chrysanths
Between the tides are
Gems that I would seek,
Weeds beneath the waves…
imo ga kado
iri idumigapa no
imada puyu kamo My darling’s door
I enter; upon Izumi River’s
Remains the snow,
As does winter yet…
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro Collection
yamakawa no iwa kosu nami ni uchisoete tani hibiku nari semi no morogoe Mountain torrents Cross the rocks in waves Along with The echoes in the valley From the swarming cicadas’ songs.
[One of] five poems composed when dropping anchor at Nagadojima in Aki province.
taki mo todoro ni
naku semi no
kowe o si kikeba
miyako si omopoyu Running o’er the rocks
Cataracts resound –
When the singing cicadas
Song I hear
The capital comes to my thoughts.
Ōishi no Minomaro
sanuru yo no
iso no nezame ni
tsuki katabukinu In Kisakata and
I sleep the night away, and
Awaking on the rocky shore
Behold the moon descending.
iwa shiku sode no
nami no ue ni
omou mo wabishi
kimi ga omokage At Kiyomigata
Sleeves spread atop the rocks,
Waves breaking atop them;
Heart filled with pain
At the memory of your face…
Left and Right both state that the opposing poem is pretentious.
In judgement: the Left’s poem seems well-constructed in its initial and final sections. However, as in Mototoshi’s poem long ago, ‘breaking a stem of miscanthus on the beach at Ise’, this seems to be a case of poetic allusion. The Right’s ‘Sleeves spread atop the rocks, waves breaking atop them’ (
iwa shiku sode no nami no ue) seems to have been newly composed and seems elegant, but the final section is somewhat inferior. The Left has beginning and end matching. The Right has a superior initial section, but an inferior final one. Thus, the round ties.