Autumn III: 18

Left (Win).


kumo no ue ni
machikoshi kyō no
shiragiku wa
hito no kotoba no
hana ni zo arikeru
Above the clouds
Long have we waited for this day, when
The white chrysanthemums
Are the words in which folk
Blossom forth!

A Servant Girl.




kyō to ieba
yae saku kiku o
kokonoe ni
kasaneshi ato mo
On this day
Upon the eight-fold blooming chrysanthemums,
A nine-fold layer

Was laid – a trace of it



The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left state that the Right’s ‘Upon the eight-fold blooming chrysanthemums, a nine-fold layer’ (yae saku kiku o kokonoe ni) is lifted wholesale from an earlier famous poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both Left and Right charmingly express the conception [kokoro wa okashikuhaberu] of the Chrysanthemum Festival, but the Left’s ‘Are the words in which folk blossom forth!’ (hito no kotoba no hana ni zo arikeru) has a slightly better air about it at present.

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