Autumn II: 7

Left (Win).

秋はなを霧の靡に鹿鳴て花も露けき夕なりけり

aki wa nao
kiri no nabiki ni
shika nakite
hana mo tsuyukeki
yū narikeri
It truly is autumn –
Through the fluttering mist
Comes the belling of a stag, and
The blooms, too, are dew-drenched
At even time…

Lord Kanemune.

373

Right.

哀をばいかにせよとて入會の聲うち添ふる鹿の音ならん

aware o ba
ika ni seyo tote
iriai no
koe uchi souru
shika no ne naran
More sad
Than this there’s nothing!
The evening bell
Tolling, accompanied by
The belling of a stag.

Lord Tsune’ie.

374

The Right wonder, ‘In the expression “the blooms, too”, what does the “too” (mo) connect with? In addition, simply finishing the poem “At even time” (yū narikeri) shows a lack of conception.’ The Left counter that, ‘In the Right’s poem, expressions such as “more sad” (aware o ba) and “the belling of a stag” (shika no ne naran) are feeble. In addition, what of having iriai (“evening [bell]”), without explicitly including “bell” (kane)?’

Shunzei’s judgement: While I do wonder about the expression, ‘at even time’, with the inclusion of ‘too’ in the phrase ‘the blooms, too’, there is the impression of unspoken emotional overtones to the poem. The configuration of the first phrase, too, is particularly tasteful. As for the Right’s poem, it is not the case that iriai must always be accompanied by kane (‘bell’) – one can hear the bell in the phrase. However, overall, the Left’s poem gives a stronger impression, and so wins.

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