Tag Archives: Sugata

Love IX: 17

Left (Tie)

sugata yue
kage taehateshi
chigiri o zo shiru
A clear glass
Will reflect back
My true face, yet
A form fixed forever
Reveals his my vow to me…

A Servant Girl


koizuma ni
nite ya kakuran
mitsuru yori
e ni mo kokoro o
utsushitsuru kana
My beloved wife:
Does this so resemble her, that at
The mere sight of
The painting, my heart
Does move?

Lord Tsune’ie

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poems contains a fault, does it not?

In judgement: What are we to make of the Left’s ‘In a clear glass my ever-changing reflected’ (masukagami utsushikaekemu)? While I have the feeling that there is a source for this poem, this aged official is completely unable to grasp it what it might be. It is not the case that the poem is lacking in an elegant style. The Gentlemen of the Left have commented on the existence of a fault in the Right’s poem. Perhaps the two cranes (tsuru)? This type of issue relating to a poem’s formal diction does not seem that serious to me. However, saying ‘does this so resemble her, that at’ (nite ya kakuran) is insufficient in terms of expression. The Left’s ‘clear glass’ would win, if its source were clear, but in its absence, it is difficult to make it the winner.

Love I: 23



ushi tsurashi
asaka no numa no
kusa no na yo
kari ni mo fukaki
en wa musubade
How cruel and cold!
At Asaka Marsh
The once seen reeds do grow;
Briefly, a deep
Bond will not be made.

Lord Sada’ie.




sugata no ike no
oshi no koe
kikite wa sode no
nureshi kazu ka wa
Such a
Form! On Sugata Pond
The loving mandarin duck calls
I hear and my sleeves:
Drenched how many times?



Neither team has any criticisms this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: ‘The Left’s ‘At Asaka Marsh’ (asaka no numa) and the Right’s ‘On Sugata Pond the loving mandarin duck calls’ (sugata no ike no oshi no koe) are both tasteful in diction [yū no kotoba ni wa haberu], but beginning with ‘How cruel and cold!’ (ushi tsurashi) sounds like the poet is writing a love letter, and this is overly informal for a poetry competition [uta’awase ni wa kegen naru yō ni ya haberan]. ‘On Sugata Pond the loving mandarin duck calls’ is charming, but why did the poet not continue with ‘I did hear and my sleeves’ (kikishi wa sode no)? In any case, this round neither poem is markedly superior to the other.