Autumn I: 12

Left (Win).

定め置く星合の空のしるしとて秋の調べに琴柱たつ也

sadameoku
hoshiai no sora no
shirushi tote
aki no shirabe ni
kotoji tatsu nari
Set,
The stars meet within the heavens
Signified by
The rhythms of autumn
Sounding ‘cross the zithers’ bridge.

Kenshō.

323

Right.

七夕の逢ふ夜の庭に置く琴のあたりにひくはさゝがにの糸

tanabata no
au yo no niwa ni
oku koto no
atari ni hiku wa
sasagani no ito
At Tanabata,
On the night of meeting, in the garden
Are the zithers placed;
All around for plucking are
Strands of spiders’ webs.

Jakuren.

324

The Right say, ‘“Set” (sadameoku) just does not sound very good.’ The Left: ‘ “Spiders” (sasagani no) seems to appear rather abruptly in the poem.’

Shunzei: ‘“Spiders’ webs” (sasagani no ito) would seem to be being used to evoke the playing of the zithers. Is “set” really all that bad in form? The Left’s “rhythms of autumn” (aki no shirabe) gets the victory.’

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