Spring II: 13

Left (Win).


sue tōki
wakaba no shibafu
hibari naku no no
haru no yūgure
To the distance far
The growing greensward
Skylarks singing o’er the plain
In the springtime evening.

Lord Sada’ie




kumo ni iru
sonata no koe no
hibari ochikuru
akebono no sora
From within the clouds
Comes song: thither
Skylarks swooping
Through the skies at dawn.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right team question what it is that the greensward ‘streams’ (nabiku) towards, while the Left say that starting with ‘within the clouds’ (kumo ni iru) is ‘somewhat abrupt’.

Shunzei comments of the Right’s question, ‘whatever it streams towards, in truth, from point of view of form, it should not stream at all,’ meaning that there’s no need to use the expression at all in the poem. As for the Right’s poem, somewhat facetiously, he says, ‘what is “within the clouds” is, most likely a ball, and while gazing “thither at their song”, one would think that, no doubt, the skylark, too, would soon come swooping down, but one would have to stop staring in order to catch it!’ In addition, ‘wouldn’t it be to dark at dawn to distinguish a skylark?’ So, ‘Skylarks singing o’er the plain/In the springtime evening’ should be the winner.

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