Summer I: 18



kumo no ue o
izuru tsukai no
mukau hikage ni
kazasu kyō kana
From above the clouds
The messengers emerge;
Bearing branches, hollyhock decked,
Bent towards the sun-bright power
In adornment on this day.

Lord Sada’ie.


Right (Win).


kakete zo tanomu
aoi ureshiki
miare to omoeba
With mulberry-cloth
Garlanded, wishing for
A jewelled belt of
Hollyhocks, on this joyful
Festive day…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right have no particular remarks to make about the Left’s poem. The Left, however, comment, ‘“Festival” (matsuri)and “festive” (miare) are somewhat different. They do not refer to events held on the same day.’

Shunzei responds, ‘While the Left’s “Bent towards the sun-bright power” (mukau hikage) certainly provides no evidence of a lack of feeling, in overall form the Right’s poem seems more elegantly flowing [migi utazama, iinagasaretaru yō]. While it is true that the festive days begin two days prior to the festival itself, the term can also apply to the evening of the festival day, and so the two can be seen as synonymous. The Right would seem to win.’

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