Autumn I: 7



yado goto ni
kage o utsuseba
tanabata no
au se wa shigeshi
ama no kawanami
When in every house
Light shines,
The lovers’
Meet within the waters, numberless as
The waves on the River of Heaven.

Lord Suetsune.




tare mo mina
kyō tanabata o
inoru kokoro wa
sora ni shiruran
Everyone, without exception,
Today, the lovers’ meeting
Are all the secret prayers of all those hearts,
Heard within the heavens?

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right state that the Left’s poem, ‘lacks a spirit of celebration. In addition, we are unable to grasp the point of “meet within the waters, numberless” (au se wa shigeshi).’ The Left merely say that the Right’s poem has a ‘striking spirit of celebration.’

Shunzei, however, states, ‘In his Tanabata poems, Okikaze said “once in a single year” (toshi ni hitotabi), and Mitsune “the numbers of nights sleeping” (nuru yo no kazu zo) – in the current poem of the Left, “meet within the waters, numberless”, seems to resemble these in conception. Furthermore, does one not get a sense of celebration from “light shines” (kage o utsuseba)? Does the Right’s poem evoke the relationship? It has been called incomprehensible, but the Left’s poem should win!’

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