Spring II: 17

Left (Tie).


harubaru to
ogi no yakehara
tatsu hibari
kasumi no uchi ni
koe agarunari
Into the distance, far,
The silver-grass plain is aflame;
A skylark takes flight, and
From within the haze, its
Song soars.

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Tie).


haru fukaki
nobe no kasumi no
shita kaze ni
fukarete agaru
yū hibari kana
Now is the height of spring, and
Haze lies o’er the plains;
The breeze beneath
Gusts, lifting
A skylark, at eventide.



The Right have no comments to make about the Left’s poem, but the Left say they are ‘unused to hearing’ the expression ‘breeze beneath the haze’ (kasumi no shita kaze), and then continue to ask, facetiously, ‘Do you mean to say that skylarks don’t soar without a breeze?’ The Right reply that, ‘when the wind is blowing gently, it appears as if the bird is lifted by it – that is the scene.’

Shunzei states that Left’s poem, with its essence of the skylark’s call emerging from the haze is ‘truly charming’. He did ‘wonder’ about the Right’s essence of the bird being lifted by the breeze, can see the scene of a gentle ‘breeze beneath the haze across the plains’ (nobe no kasumi no shita kaze), and is attracted by both sides’ poems. Thus, there are no winners or losers this round.

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