Spring III: 10

Left.

にほはずはふゞく空とぞ思はまし花散りまがふ志賀の山越え

niowazu wa
fuguku sora to zo
omowamashi
hana chirimagau
shiga no yamagoe
Were there no fragrance,
Wind-driven skies,
One would think,
Blossoms scattered all around
The path across the Shiga Mountains.

Lord Suetsune.

139

Right (Win).

道もせに花の白雪降りとぢて冬にぞかへる志賀の山越え

michi mo se ni
hana no shirayuki
furitojite
fuyu ni zo kaeru
shiga no yamagoe
The path narrows to naught,
A blizzard of blossom
Falling and settling:
Winter has come once more
To the path across the Shiga Mountains.

Nobusada.

140

The Right query the Left’s use of ‘wind-driven’ (fuguku), wondering whether it’s appropriate in poetry, while the Left have no criticisms to make of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei remarks testily that, ‘The Left appear to have regrettably little sense of how to compose on the topic of ‘the path across the Shiga Mountains’, an impression which could have been reversed if only ‘a mountain path’ (yama michi) had been mentioned. The Right’s ‘winter has come once more to the path across the Shiga Mountains’ (fuyu ni zo kaeru shiga no yamagoe), however, is charming. Thus, it must win.’

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