Love I: 23



ushi tsurashi
asaka no numa no
kusa no na yo
kari ni mo fukaki
en wa musubade
How cruel and cold!
At Asaka Marsh
The once seen reeds do grow;
Briefly, a deep
Bond will not be made.

Lord Sada’ie.




sugata no ike no
oshi no koe
kikite wa sode no
nureshi kazu ka wa
Such a
Form! On Sugata Pond
The loving mandarin duck calls
I hear and my sleeves:
Drenched how many times?



Neither team has any criticisms this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: ‘The Left’s ‘At Asaka Marsh’ (asaka no numa) and the Right’s ‘On Sugata Pond the loving mandarin duck calls’ (sugata no ike no oshi no koe) are both tasteful in diction [yū no kotoba ni wa haberu], but beginning with ‘How cruel and cold!’ (ushi tsurashi) sounds like the poet is writing a love letter, and this is overly informal for a poetry competition [uta’awase ni wa kegen naru yō ni ya haberan]. ‘On Sugata Pond the loving mandarin duck calls’ is charming, but why did the poet not continue with ‘I did hear and my sleeves’ (kikishi wa sode no)? In any case, this round neither poem is markedly superior to the other.

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