Spring III: 17

Left (Win).


chiru hana o
kyō no matoi no
hikari nite
namima ni meguru
haru no sakazuki
Falling blossoms
To the gathering today
Add lustre,
Circling between the waves go
The wine-cups of spring.

A Servant Girl.




iwama yori
nagarete kudasu
sakazuki ni
hana no iro sae
ukabu kyō kana
From the rock-clefts
Float down
Cups of wine –
Even the blossoms’ hues
Seem adrift upon them, today…

Lord Takanobu.


The Right team state that the Left’s poem, ‘seems good,’ while the Left state that the Right’s combination of nagarete (‘flow’) and kudasu (‘send down’) is ‘inharmonious and would be better reversed.’ (In his poem, Takanobu has combined an intransitive verb nagaru with a transitive one, kudasu, and the Left are complaining that it’s odd to have something flowing (on its own) and then being sent down (by someone), so it would have been better phrased as kudashite nagaru, ‘sent down and then flowed’.)

Shunzei comments that, ‘Both poems have superlative elements. The Right’s nagaretekudasu is not entirely inharmonious, but the Left’s “circling between the waves go the wine-cups of spring” is particularly fine. Thus, I award it victory.’

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