Uta School Monthly Song Contest “Ame” (June 2020) *Includes judge review

Utajuku is a school for learning ``modern classical Japanese poetry.'' We look up to the Kokin Wakashu, the first imperial anthology, and refine our studies every day, and once a month we compose poems for each other based on a specific theme.
"Utajuku" for reciting waka poems

At the June 2020 poetry gathering, the following poems were received. I would like to introduce some excerpts.

Title: “Rain”

``The rain pretends to be a hydrangea's undying body and learns about itself.''

Judge's review: Hydrangea and rain, which are not mentioned in Heian waka poems, are included in the poem, creating a modern combination. It makes me think that if a Heian poet wrote a poem about hydrangeas, it would be something like this. ``The rain that you know about yourself'' helps make it easier to understand.

``In the rain that never stops, I can hear you stepping under the vast eaves.''

Judge's review: A song with a sad feeling. A woman desperately waits for someone to come while the rain never stops falling. But the man doesn't come. A good song that makes you imagine the story.

``The person who was supposed to be sleeping in the pillow was kicking the sleeves while the rain was getting foggy.''

Judge's comment: ``The person who should sleep in your pillow'' is an interesting expression. Is it “she”? It was also raining (very) hazy, which meant I had cried so much that my sleeves were wet. A waiting love song. Is it a little difficult to understand? For example... ``The rain keeps coming down until there's no one in sight to rest on my pillow.''

“The firebirds that sing in the May rain are like talking about an old love.”

Judge's review: Hototogisu as a poetic word is beautifully composed. The highlight of the poem is ``Hitoto'' (pittito), which depicts a melancholy scene in which a firefly cries as if nestling in the rain in May. ``Koigatarigoto'' obscures the sound of ``Hototogisu'' chirping in ``May rain rain.'' I can hear the Japanese squirrel chirping every time I talk about my dreams. That may be the intention, but it makes ``The Rainy Day in May'' weak, and you don't know who the person is talking about love with. Also, the ``to'' overlaps, making the tone unsettling. Isn't it a good idea to end the poem with something like, ``Now I'm on the pillow of my old dreams,'' as it makes us imagine the tormenting thoughts of love.

``If you look at the grass and trees, you'll feel clear even in the May rain.''

Judge's review: This is a song that is difficult to understand at first glance, about the grass and trees turning green, the thoughts disturbed by the May rain, and the hope that they will become clear. ``It's going to be chaotic'' is too much to say.

``When I look at the cherry blossoms in the garden in the May rain, I can't help but think of floating.''

Judge's review: A song with a certain style, such as the classical theme of Satsuki Rain and Unohana, which resonates with ``mourning''. If you want to make it a clear preposition, it's better to make it a homophone repetition. For example... "I wonder if the sorrow of the sea urchin flowers in the garden that grows in the rain in May will never end."

``The flowers at the edge of Nagamefuru Pond, the irises, stand wet and have a bright color.''

Judge's comment: I said that the ``iris'' in waka poems is a grass irises, but based on that, I have clarified that it is ``flower iris.'' Beautiful scenery of the iris field in this season. It's interesting to see the anthropomorphic expression in "Tachinuru".

“If you suddenly notice the sound of rain, the tears that fall will flow with you.”

Judge's review: What is ``Nitazumi'' (water that accumulates on the ground and flows when it rains)? ``I don't know where I'm going.'' In the makura-yomo for going, the part for ``dropping'' is not a makura-yoto, but is part of the scene. This is a song that flows with tears, giving it a new feel. ``When I suddenly noticed'' is a bit difficult to explain, and I can't tell from the song why she's crying. Furthermore, it is difficult to understand what he meant when he said "Mu (speculation)." For example... "The rain never stops, and the water that drips from the tears just keeps pouring in."

``A deep dusk with lanterns lined up in the Kasuga forest, wet with rain, and green with moss.''

Judge's review: Beautiful Japanese scenery that looks like it was cut out of a photograph. There's just so much I want to say, it would be a waste to let it get messy. For example... "The green of the moss on the stone lantern in Kasuga no Mori when it rains is also deep."

``Who will fall in love with when the voice trembles on a rainy May night?''

Judge's review: A song that is faithful to the type. Hototogisu can also be said to be a metaphor for a poet. It's all stripped down and has no personality, but it's pleasant to the ear. First of all, I want to be able to sing like this.

``If you think about Makoto, the beauty bean, who is disheveled in Samidare, you will get wet.''

Judge's review: ``Mizura = the way adult men tied their hair in ancient times.'' Makomo (aquatic plants) is thought to be a hairstyle, but there is probably an example of this usage. A man is lost in thought, wondering if something will happen to his ``Samidare.'' There is a story that makes us imagine the disorder of Makomono. An excellent song that is unique in its skillful use of old-fashioned words.

“Looking out of the blurred window in the morning, the May flies are also resting on the handrail.”

Judge's review: A bold poem about ``Sabae.'' It's reminiscent of Issa (Don't let the fly fly by), but when you look up at it, it's interesting because it makes you imagine why you can't go outside. I wonder if there is a need for ``Asaborake'' to appear, and I think that the poem is probably based on the author's actual scene. Also, isn't "looking out the window" enough? It means looking at the view from the window, or looking up at the sky. Wouldn't it be better to use something like ``Hikarisasu'' to create a feeling of craving? Another thing is that it's interesting to say ``Aogimiru'' instead of ``Rashi''.

Learn the basics of waka poetry and try reciting it!

We are holding a "Utajuku" with the goal of learning from representative classical works and being able to compose traditional "Waka" on an individual basis!

季刊誌「和歌文芸」
令和六年冬号(Amazonにて販売中)

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