SZS XV: 937

Remembering a man from whom she had parted long before, she sent this to him to say that her feelings had not been transient.


tosi Furedo
ukimi Fa sara ni
kawarazi wo
turasa mo onazi
The years have gone by, yet
In my desolation still
Am I unchanged, but
Cruelty is the same
As it ever was!

Tsuchimikado Zen Sai’in Chūjō

Love IV: 9


sora harete
yama no ha izuru
hikage ni mo
kawaki mo yaranu
sode no ue kana
The sky clears and
From the mountains’ edge appears
The sunlight, yet
It cannot even dry
The surface of my sleeves…

Lord Ari’ie.

Right (Win).

sawa ni idete
asana tsumu
tomo oboenu
ayashiki hodo ni
nururu sode kana
Going out to the marshes and
Gathering greens for breakfast –
I cannot recall at all;
How strange it is that
My sleeves are then so drenched…

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state: we find no faults to mention in the Left’s poem. The Left state: recalling gathering greens for breakfast is something one can do in the afternoon or the evening. In addition, ‘I cannot recall’ (oboenu) is prosaic in content.

In judgement: the Left’s poem simply says that the sunlight is unable to dry one’s sleeves, and contains little conception of love. The Right’s ‘sleeves’ sound as if they have been most extraordinarily drenched, so the Right should win.

Love IV: 8

Left (Win).

itsu shika to
kesa yaru fumi no
koto no ha wa
au ureshisa to
akanu urami to
So swiftly
On this morning, I send a letter and
In its words
The joy of meeting and
My unending despair…

Lord Kanemune.


ima wa tada
koi ni wagami ni
akenu to kikedo
oki zo irarenu
Now, simply
With love I
Am weakened;
Hearing that the dawn has come
I am unable to rise…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

The Right state: the Left’s ‘On this morning, I send a letter and in its words’ (kesa yaru fumi no koto no ha) seems utterly plain. Simply composing on the morning after seems somewhat dubious. The Left state: we find nothing to mention in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: although the Right does convey the pathos of love, the Left’s ‘On this morning, I send a letter’ is certainly superior.


A certain man came up to the capital from the East and went to the house of woman with whom he had spoken long before; when she asked why he had come to see her in such haste, he said:


oroka ni mo
adumadi no
Fuseya to iFisi
nobe ni nenamasi
Had I thought of you
On the Eastern roads,
Upon Fuseya
Plain would I have rather slept!


Love IV: 7


kesa yori wa
saraba namida ni
sode no shizuku ka
From this morning
Should it be that my tears
I will just let fall, for
I cannot wring out
These droplets from my sleeves…

Lord Suetsune.


ware gotoku
hito ya koishiki
miru mama ni
yagate shiboruru
asagao no hana
As much as I
Is there anyone in love?
While watching,
Soon enough languish,
The morning glory blooms…

Lord Takanobu.

The Right state: is saying ‘From this morning’ (kesa yori wa) suggesting that the feelings have particularly arisen this morning? In response: this is simply the style of poetry. It is commonplace to use expressions such as ‘today it is that’ (kyō wa sa wa) or ‘now it is that’ (ima wa sa wa). The Left state: the initial two lines of the Right’s poem pay no attention to style.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, commencing ‘From this morning’ (kesa yori wa) and then saying ‘Should it be that my tears’ (saraba namida ni) does not seem poor. I do wonder about the final ‘These droplets from my sleeves’ (sode no shizuku ka), though. As for the Right’s poem, I do not feel that the initial two lines lack attention to style. The entirety of both teams comments display no knowledge of poetry, and fail to identify the merits or faults of the opposing poems. I feel that both the Left and the Right poems this round are elegant. Thus, the round should tie.

Love IV: 6

Left (Win).

tsuki ya sore
honomishi hito no
omokage o
ariake no sora
Was the moon her?
So briefly glimpsed, her
I bring to mind, but simply see
The dawning sky…

A Servant Girl.


kurushiki koi ni
kokoro mayoi ya
akegure no sora
All night long
From the pains of love
Have I had no relief;
Does the tumult in my heart reflect
The shading of the dawning sky?

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state: we find no faults in the Left’s poem. The Left state: the initial section of the Right’s poem sounds a little clumsy.

In judgement: both the Left’s ‘dawning sky’ (ariake no sora) and the Right’s ‘shading of the dawning sky’ (akegure no sora) sound pleasant, but the Left’s conception of commencing with ‘Was the moon her?’ (tsuki ya sore) and following it with ‘I bring to mind, but simply see the dawning sky’ (shinobikaeseba ariake no sora) appears particularly profoundly appropriate for the topic. Thus, the Left must win.