Autumn I: 4

Left.

岩間より漏り來る清水手にかけてまだ住む程ぞ秋の日數は

iwama yori
morikuru kiyomizu
te ni kakete
mada sumu hodo zo
aki no hikazu wa
From the cracks between the crags
Pours pure water,
Caught in my hands;
Many yet remain
Of the days of Autumn.

Lord Kanemune.

307

Right.

音にのみ哀れを添へていかなれば袖に知られぬ秋の初風

oto ni nomi
aware o soete
ikanareba
sode ni shirarenu
aki no hatsukaze
From its sound alone
Am I moved to feel,
And yet
My sleeves get no sense
Of Autumn’s first breeze.

Lord Takanobu.

308

The Right say, ‘Despite the fact that it has become customary to say that coolness arrives with the beginning of Autumn, the Left’s poem, as if this were taken for granted, says the beginning of Autumn is hot! What of this?’

In response, the Left say, ‘First of all, it is taken for granted that the beginning of Autumn is hot! As is plain from “Fiery heat yet remains”. There is nothing problematic in suggesting in this topic that the beginning of autumn is hot!’

Shunzei wonders, ‘what to make of the Left’s “caught in my hands” (te ni kakete), but this is, indeed, a poem on lingering heat. As for the Right’s “From its sound alone am I moved to feel” (oto ni nomi aware o soete) – I wonder whether such a wind would really not be felt on the sleeves as well? The Left should win.’

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