Spring I: 7

Left (Tie).

なを冴ゆるけしきにしるし山ざくらまだ冬ごもる梢なるらん

nao sayuru
keshiki ni shirushi
yamazakura
mada fuyugomoru
kozue naruran
Still so clear
Is the scene: it must be a sign that
Mountain cherries are
Yet sealed in winter,
Outstanding on the treetops…

Lord Suetsune

13

Right (Tie).

したふべき冬には雪のをくれゐて春ともいはず冴えわたるらん

shitaubeki
fuyu ni wa yuki no
okureite
haru tomo iwazu
saewataruran
How it must long for
Winter – the snow
Remains,
Though ‘tis spring, needless to say:
That is clear, indeed!

The Provisional Assistant Master of the Empress’ Household Office

14

The Right state that as the entirety of the topic is expressed in the first line of the Left’s poem, it lack care [nen nashi]. The Left respond that saying that the characters of the topic appear in the first line of our poem suggest the Right is unable to count correctly! As for the Right’s poem, we find no particular faults, but it is ordinary [mezurashiki ni arazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: The form of both poems is splendid [sugata wa yū ni koso haberumere]. In general, the mass of modern composition, whether or not it shows understanding of the form and diction of poetry [kinrai no utayomi no tomogara, sugata kotoba wa shireru ka shirazaru ka], also frequently fails to show enough attention to details of techique [bimyō no fūjō] and that I have cause to say this is certainly not laudable [kanshin serezaru koto]. However, the Right’s ‘the snow remains’ (yuki no okureite), seems somewhat contrived [sukoshi omoubeku], though the final one is excellent [yoroshikuhaberu]. Thus, it’s impossible to distinguish between the two poems.

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