Summer I: 10

Left.

夏來てぞ野中の庵は荒れまさる窓とぢてけり軒の下草

natsu kite zo
nonaka no io wa
aremasaru
mado tojitekeri
noki no shitagusa
Summer has come, and
Out upon the plains, the hut
Has gone to ruin –
Windows sealed by
Grasses growing ‘neath the eaves.

Lord Ari’ie.

199

Right (Win).

わが宿のよもぎが庭は深し誰分けよとか打ちも拂はん

wa ga yado no
yomogi ga niwa wa
fukashi dare
wakeyo to ka
uchi mo harawan
My dwelling’s
Garden is all overgrown
Deep as deep can be, but
With no-one to force a passage through
I’ll not sweep it back!

Lord Takanobu.

200

The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left, though, wonder, ‘What is the meaning of “sweep” (uchiharau) in relation to a garden?’

Shunzei comments: ‘The poems of both Left and Right are superb in configuration and diction [sugata kotoba yū ni haberi]. However, the Left, by saying “gone to ruin” (aremasaru) about a hut on the plains, gives the impression it is talking about the beginning of winter, just after the end of autumn. Furthermore, the poem also gives the impression of being composed on the topic of “Field Lodges” (notei). As for the Right, it is certainly possible to sweep away an overgrown garden, as well as the dust from one’s bed, so I see no problems with this usage. Saying “summer’s deep” is by no means unpleasant. The Right wins.”

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