sawamizu ni kawazu nakunari yamabuki no utsurou iro ya soko ni miyuramu Among the marsh waters The frogs are crying; The kerria’s Fading hues—might They see them below the surface there?
chiriteyuku kata o dani mimu harugasumi hana no atari wa tachi mo sara namu Scattering off If only I might see them, but The spring haze Around the blossoms is Already rising!
me ni miede kaze wa fukedomo aoyagi no nabiku kata ni zo hana chirikeru Unseen by my eyes The wind does blow, yet The green willow Bends toward The scattering blossom.
ashihiki no yamabuki no hana sakinikeri ide no kawazu wa ima ya nakuramu Leg-wearying Mountain kerria flowers Have bloomed; In Ide will the frogs Now be a’singing?
‘The Right is old-fashioned,’ and so it lost.
[i] Despite Uda’s negative opinion of it, this poem is included in Shinkokinshū (II: 162), attributed to Okikaze, with the headnote, ‘A poem from the Poetry Contest held by Former Emperor Uda in Engi 13’.
utsutsu ni wa sara ni mo iwaji sakurabana yume ni mo chiru to mieba ukaramu In the waking world There is nothing more I might say, O, cherry blossom! You scattering through my dreams— How I would hate to see it!
hana no iro o utsushi to tomeyo kagamiyama haru yori nochi ni kage ya miyuru to The blossoms’ hues’ Reflection: hold it, Mirror Mountain! That after the springtime’s gone I might see their shades.
[i] This poem is included in Shūishū (I: 73), attributed to Korenori, with the headnote, ‘From Former Emperor Uda’s Poetry Contest.’
Ten Poems on the Third Month
mitekaeru kokoro akaneba sakurabana sakeru atari ni yado ya karamashi Seeing you and returning home Leaves my heart unsated, O, cherry blossom! In the place where you do bloom is Where I would borrow lodging…
shinonome ni okite mitsureba sakurabana mada yo o komete chirinikeru kana At the edge of dawn, When I arise to gaze upon The cherry blossoms Within the night’s span Have they scattered!
The Right’s poem was just as His Majesty said: ‘It expresses affection for the blossom through gazing and gazing upon them.’ When it was suggested to him that the work produced by Lord Sadakata and Lord Noboru conveyed the same overall impression, he took his time to consider the matter, then said, ‘In that case,’ and made the round a tie.
furusato ni kasumi tobiwake yuku kari wa tabi no sora ni ya haru o suguramu Above an ancient estate Flying through the parting haze Go the geese: In the skies they journey through, I wonder, will they pass the springtime?
chiru hana o nukishi tomeneba aoyagi no ito wa yoru tomo kai ya nakaramu The scattered blossom Has been pierced, but not stayed, so, The green willow’s Threaded fronds are spun together, yet It useless seems…
‘“Sewn but not halted”—it really does seem so.’
furihaete hana mi ni kureba kurabuyama itodo kasumi no tachikakusuramu When with many trials The blossom have I come to see Upon Kurabu Mountain Already does the haze Seem to rise to conceal them.
imo yasuku nerarezarikeri haru no yo wa hana no chiru nomi yume ni mietsutsu My darling, uneasily, Does sleep; On a night in springtime Scattering blossom, alone, In her dreams does she ever see…
‘These are just about amusing,’ they tied.
sakurabana ikadeka hito no orite minu nochi koso masaru iro mo idekome O, cherry blossom! Why would people Pick you—can not they see that ‘Tis later that your best Hues will emerge?
utatane no yume ni ya aruramu sakurabana hakanaku mite zo yaminuberanaru Dozing fitfully In my dreams might there be Cherry blossom? A brief glimpse, that Can be held right here…
sakura chiru ko no shitakaze wa samukarade sora ni shirarenu yuki zo furikeru The cherry scattering Breeze beneath the trees Lacks chill— Unaware from within the skies The snow is falling.
wa ga kokoro haru no yamabe ni akugarete naganagashi hi o kyō mo kurashitsu My heart to The mountainside in springtime Is drawn— The long, long day Today, too, has reached its dusk.
The Left wins. ‘The Right has “long, long” which is a disagreeable word. It was hissed through pursed lips with drooping shoulders,’ and so it lost.
[i] This poem is included in Shūishū (I: 64), with the headnote, ‘From Former Emperor Uda’s Poetry Contest’.
[ii] This poem is included in Shinkokinshū (I: 81), attributed to Tsurayuki with the headnote ‘A poem from Former Emperor Uda’s Poetry Contest’.
harukaze no fukanu yo ni dani aramaseba kokoro nodoka ni hana wa mitemashi The spring breezes Not blowing of an evening—if only That were so, then With peace in my heart I would view the blossom
chirinu tomo ari to tanomamu sakurabana haru wa suginu to ware ni kikasu na You have fallen, yet That you are here, I will believe, O, cherry blossom! That spring is past— Don’t tell me that!
‘The Left’s poem is my own—it really should lose, shouldn’t it?’