Spring III: 9

Left (Tie).


hana oba fumaji
to omou ma ni
michi koso nakare
shiga no yamagoe
Upon the fallen, piléd,
Blossoms I should not tread
I feel, and so
Pathway have I none
Across the Shiga Mountains…

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Tie).


haru wa tada
kumoji o wakuru
hana koso mienu
shiga no yamagoe
In spring, I simply
Forge a path betwixt the clouds,
I feel;
Blossoms indistinguishable
On the path across the Shiga Mountains.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right state that ‘I feel and so’ (to omou ma ni) in the Left’s poem is ‘unpleasant’, while the Left remark that ‘entering among blossoms and then saying “blossoms indistinguishable” is unclear.’ The commentators are uncertain about what the Right’s objection to ‘to omou ma ni’ is, and speculate that it may be because it contains one too many syllables for its position in the poem (six when there should be five). This seems most likely, as there are numerous other poems using the expression in other contexts.

Shunzei judgement is: ‘The Right’s emphasis on blossom resembling clouds is excessive and makes the poem eccentric. Their criticism of the Left’s “I feel, and so” (omou ma ni) is also excessive. The round would appear to be a tie.’

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