Love X: 25

Left
あひそめて後は飾磨の市にても夜がれがちをばかへじとぞ思ふ

aisomete
nochi wa shikama no
ichi nite mo
yogaregachi o ba
kaeji to zo omou
First dyed with indigo, and flushed with love,
Then to Shikama
Market as
Night’s dark cloth, only occasionally
Will he return I fear…

Kenshō
1189

Right (Win)
尋ばやほのかに三輪の市に出て命にかふるしるしありやと

tazuneba ya
honoka ni miwa no
ichi ni iedete
inochi ni kauru
shirushi ari ya to
I would pay a visit to one
I briefly glimpsed at Miwa
Market – leaving
My life I would exchange
Were there to be a sign from her?

Lord Takanobu
1190

The Right state: both of the latter sections of the Left’s poem are extremely informal. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults, but we do wonder about the appropriateness of ‘exchange for a sign’ (kauru shirushi).

In judgement: ‘first dyed with indigo’ (aisomete), ‘Shikama Market’ (shikama no ichi) and ‘night’s dark cloth’ (yogaregachi) – all of these sound evocative. Following ‘I briefly glimpsed at Miwa Market’ (honoka ni miwa no ichi) with ‘exchange’ (kauru) sounds rather abrupt, but saying, ‘were there to be a sign’ (shirushi ari ya) at Miwa Market does not sound pointless. Generally speaking, on the Way of Poetry, poems whose conception is plainly expressed do not consider their diction, while poems which place weight upon their diction lack a clear conception. Poems which attempt to fully express their configuration are often at variance from the topic – all this is well known. The Left’s poem has a poor final section. The Right wins.

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