Tag Archives: katsura

Summer I: 19

Left (Tie).

おなじ瀬をのぼる鮎子に大井河くだりぞあらぬ篝火の影

onaji se o
noboru ayuko ni
ōigawa
kudari zo aranu
kagaribi no kage
At the same swift waters:
Sweetfish sprats head up
The Ōi River,
Waiting, unmoving are
The lighted fishing-fires.

Lord Suetsune.

217

Right (Tie).

桂川くだりもあらぬ鵜舟かなこの瀬にのみや鮎子さばしる

katsuragawa
kudari mo aranu
ubune kana
kono se ni nomi ya
ayuko sabashiru
Upon Katsura River,
Waiting, unmoving are
The cormorant boats;
Is it only at these swift waters, that
The sweetfish sprats do race?

Lord Tsune’ie.

218

Neither team sees any difficulties with the other’s poems this round.

Shunzei comments tersely, ‘Both poems use “sweetfish sprats”, and this old-fashioned term cannot help but give them a less than pleasant air. Neither is worthy of victory.’