Tag Archives: tsuru

Love IX: 11

Left (Tie)

kimi yue mo
kanashiki koto no
ne wa tatetsu
ko o omou tsuru ni
kayou nomi ka wa
For you
In sadness has my zither
Put forth strains, so
Can a crane calling for her chick
Be the only one to cry?

A Servant Girl


yoso ni naru
hito dani tsuraki
koto no ne ni
ko o omou tsuru mo
kokoro shirarete
Strangers to me –
Even they the pain
Within my zither’s strains,
As a crane calling for her chick,
Feel in their hearts!


Left and Right together: no faults to mention.

In judgement: both Left and Right mention ‘a crane calling for her chick’ (ko o omou tsuru). This would appear to be after the conception of the pentachord in Bai’s Works: ‘The third and fourth strings are chill, and at night a crane, loving her chick, calls from her cage.’ This is not the usual zither with seven strings, but it is certainly also a kind of zither. In the topic ‘On Zithers’ there is certainly no issue with alluding to Japanese zithers or Chinese ones, is there? In any case, neither poem seems greatly inferior or superior, so the round ties.

Spring III: 1

Left (Tie).


uguisu no
momo saezuri o
iku kaeri
nagaki haru hi ni
The warblers’
Multitude of twitters
Goes round, and round again;
The long, late days of spring,
Do they spend in song?



Right (Tie).


kumo no ue ni
tsuru no morogoe
aware nodokeki
haru no kyō kana
By the clound borne palace
The choir of cranes
Gives song;
O, how peaceful is
Today, in springtime!



Neither team can find any particular fault with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei says, ‘Both poems are on “lengthening days”, and both – the Left’s “warblers’ multitude of twitters” (uguisu no momo saezuri) and the Right’s “choir of cranes” (tsuru no morogoe) – have a tranquil air and sound excellent. Again, I must make them a tie.’