|Shinpen kokka taikan no.||146|
|Heian-chō uta’awase taisei no.||305|
|Romanised Title||Kanpaku naidaijin uta’awase|
|Translated Title||Poetry Contest held by the Regent and Palace Minister|
|Alternative Title(s)||関白内大臣忠通歌合 Kanpaku naidaijin tadamichi uta’awase (‘Poetry Contest held by Tadamichi, Regent and Palace Minister’)|
|Date||22/9/Hōan 2 [4.11.1121]|
|Topics||Mountain moon (山月); the wind across the fields (野風); Garden dew (庭露); Love (恋)|
The wind across the fields (野風)
yasashi no nobe no
kaze no keshiki ya
|This morn when I look out|
Are the bush clovers and maidenflowers
Gently in the fields
A vision of wind?
noji no shinohara
kyō fukinu nari
At Shinohara in Noji,
Noisy in the treetops
Rustles the autumn wind
As it blows today.
In the Left’s poem, from the phrase ‘bush clovers and maidenflowers’ (hagi ominaeshi) and to the following ‘gently in the fields’ (yashi no nobe) seem singularly unremarkable. In fact, the diction seems so out of place as to be comic. The Right’s poem has an elevated style and charming diction, so one would think it should win, should it not?
The Gentlemen of the Left: the Right’s poem does use the comically forceful diction ‘rustles’ (sosoya).
In judgement: the Left’s ‘waving’ (nabikashite) is an expression giving the poem an extremely idiosyncratic style. The initial section also appears to be lacking in force. As for the Right’s poem, ‘rustles’ (sosoya) is used by Sone no Yoshitada in his poem ‘rustling, the autumn wind has blown’ (sosoya akikaze fukinu nari), so it is not as if there is not a prior example of usage. Thus, it seems to me that the Right’s poem is superior.
The judge, Fujiwara no Mototoshi, is mistaken here, as the poem he is remembering is by Ōe no Yoshitoki 大江嘉言 and can be found in Shikashū (III: 108). Yoshitada is the author of SKS III: 110, however, so it seems he has simply made a mistaken identification of authorship over two poems which are more or less adjacent to each other in that anthology.