niou yori kokochi adanaru hana yue ni nodokeki haru no kaze mo uramiji From their fragrance Fickle feelings Do these blossoms have, so Peaceful spring’s Breezes I would likely not resent.
natsu no yo no nuru hodo mo naku akenureba ashita no ma o zo kakochiyosetsuru On a summer night I’ve lacked time to sleep, and Dawn has come, so I’ll do it on the morrow— That is my excuse!
kōri toku haru tachikurashi miyoshino no yoshino no taki no koe masarunari Ice melting Spring has come on scene, it seems; In fair Yoshino, Yoshino Falls’ Roar is fine, indeed!
hana no iro wa kasumi ni komete miezu tomo ka o dani nusume haru no yamakaze The blossoms’ hues Have blended with the haze, so I see them not, yet Their very scent is plundered by Spring’s breezes from the mountains.
A poem from the Poetry Competition held in the reign of the Kanpyō Empress.
tokuru koFori no
uti’iduru nami ya
Faru no FatuFana In the valley’s breezes
Does melt the ice, and
From every crack
Do burst waves – are these
The first blooms of spring?
Minamoto no Masazumi
Composed as a poem on blossom.
Fira no yamakaze
Fuku mama ni
Fana ni nariyuku
siga no uranami Cherries flower on
Hira Mountain while
All turned to blossom are
The waves on Shiga’s shore.
Middle Captain of the Inner Palace Guards, Left Division, [Fujiwara no] Yoshitsune
natsu yama no
kozue mo takaku
naru semi wa
nakanaka koe zo
kasukanarikeru In the summer mountains
The cicadas sing, yet
If anything, their songs
More distant have become.
kigi no kozue ni
shitaba ni utsuru
semi no koegoe Autumn draws near, and
The trees’ tops are
Brushed by breezes;
Shifted to the lower leaves are
The cicadas’ songs.
The Right state the Left’s poem has nothing problematic about it. The Left wonder whether there is any evidence that cicadas move in response to wind.
Shunzei remarks, ‘The Right’s poem is, indeed, lacking in evidence. However, could it not be that cicadas would feel a sense of danger from the wind and move to a tree’s lower leaves? The Left’s poem is elegant, though, and must win.’