Spring III: 11

Left (Win).


mukashi tare
shiga no yamaji o
hito no kokoro o
hana ni misuran
In ages past, who was it that
On the mountain paths of Shiga
First set foot, that
Men’s hearts be moved
By the sight of blossom?





furusato ni
omou hito aru
iezuto wa
hana ni zo miyuru
shiga no yamagoe
At home is
The one I love:
As a gift
These blossoms would appear
On the path across the Shiga Mountains.



The Right say that the Left’s poem is particularly good this round, while the Left have no criticisms to make of the Right’s one either.

Shunzei says, ‘One has to wonder whether, following the final of the Left’s poem, there might not be men who foolishly pondered on blossom? And, in the Right’s the “gift for the one I love” (omou hito aru iezuto): how would the blossoms appear? Is it that the poet as broken off a spray? The two halves of the poem do not seem to fit appropriately together, which is a problem of mistaken emphasis. Thus, in the end, rather than the “gift”, in terms of form “in ages past who was it” must win.’

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