Autumn II: 15

Left (Win).

遠近の庵に引板打つ音聞けばかたみに守るや秋の小山田

ochikochi no
io ni hita utsu
oto kikeba
katami ni moru ya
aki no oyamada
Both near and far
From huts the bird clappers sound;
Hearing it,
I wonder do they ward together
The little mountain paddies at autumn time…

Kenshō.

389

Right.

風吹けば山田の庵に音信て稲葉ぞ人を守り明しける

kaze fukeba
yamada no io ni
otozurete
inaba zo hito wo
moriakashikeru
When the wind does blow
To the mountain paddy huts
Comes the sound
Of rustling rice fronds; the folk within
Warding, wakeful, ‘til daybreak.

Jakuren.

390

The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem this round. The Left wonder about the suitability of the phrase ‘folk within warding’ (hito wo moru), to which the Right respond that the expression carries the sense of wakefulness.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left has the sound of bird clappers jointly guarding the fields, the Right, the sound of rice stirred by the autumn wind rousing folk in their huts – both poems display a particular skill in terms of form, but perhaps at the expense of feeling. Furthermore, I am unable to apprehend the Right’s ‘rice fronds; the folk within warding’. The Left wins, by a small margin.

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