Autumn III: 3

Left.

下枝までかゝれる蔦は紅葉して錦を張るは和田の笠松

shizue made
kakareru tsuta wa
momijishite
nishiki o haru wa
wada no kasamatsu
The lowest branches
All festooned with ivy
Turning scarlet,
All in brocade are
The parasol pines at Wada.

Lord Suetsune.

425

Right (Win).

絶え間なくかゝれる蔦の色づけば紅葉を囲ふ墻根とぞみる

taema naku
kakareru tsuta no
irozukeba
momiji o kakou
kakine to zo miru
There’s not a break
In the festooning ivy,
Taking on its hue:
Enveloped with scarlet leaves
Fenced around, it seems…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

426

The Right state that the initial line in the Left’s poem, ‘the lowest branches’ (shizue made), fail to connect with the poem’s conclusion. The Left state that the Right’s poem is ‘pedestrian’ [tsune no koto], but have no other criticisms.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on ‘ivy’, with the Left referring to parasol pines covered in brocade, and the Right a fence joined with scarlet leaves. In conception, neither is unpleasant [kokoro, onoono, okashikarazaru ni arazu]. However, the final section of the Left’s poem is seems to be particularly lacking in poetic qualities [kotoni utashina naki ni nitari]. It would have been better had the Right avoided the artifice of the Left’s festooned parasols [kasahari nado wa sede] and simply mentioned ‘a fence, seemingly surrounded with scarlet leaves’ [momiji o kakouran kakine]. Nevertheless, it should win.

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