Tag Archives: maple

Summer II: 25

Left (Win).


arashi fuku
kozue haruka ni
naru semi no
aki o chikashi to
sora o tsugu nari
A storm wind blows
The distant treetops, where
The cicadas sing
Of coming autumn
To the skies.

Lord Sada’ie.




aoki momiji no
shita suzumi
atsusa wa semi no
koe in yuzurinu
Lush and
Green beneath the maple leaves
‘Tis cool;
The heat by cicadas
Song is summoned.



The Right state that, ‘“Sing…to the skies” (sora o tsugu) goes against the spirit of the topic,’ while the Left wonder, ‘What we can make of “green maple leaves” (aoki momiji)?’

Shunzei states, ‘The Left’s “sing of coming autumn to the skies” (aki o chikashi to sora o tsugu nari) is superlative. The Right’s “green maple leaves” (aoki momiji) must mean that the poet, on seeing a tree which turns scarlet, rather than green, recollects the autumn colour. However, “the heat” and the diction in the concluding line are somewhat pedestrian and unpoetic. I must award the victory to the Left.’

Summer I: 3

Left (Tie).


iro kaenu
yowai wa shirazu
natsu kodachi
midori wa matsu ni
Are their hues unchanging
Through the ages – that I do no know;
Summer clustered trees’
Green on the pines
Will alter not!

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Tie).


aki o mo shiranu
kaede kana
tokiwa no iro o
shibashi nusumite
They’ll be found out!
All unknowing of the autumn are
The maple trees;
The eternal pine trees’ hue
Steal, if only briefly…



The Right simply say, ‘The Left’s poem contains major faults,’ while the Left reply, ‘The Right’s poem’s “maple trees” (kaede kana) and “Steal, if only briefly” (shibashi nusumite) are vulgar in the extreme!’ (By this they mean that nusumu (‘steal’) is inappropriate for poetry, as is the impression given that the maples have volition.)

Shunzei comments, ‘That the Left’s poem contains faults has already been mentioned by the Right. The Right’s poem though has the form of an eccentric poem, and one must wonder about granting sensitivity to maple trees, so the round must tie.’

Summer I: 2

Left (Win).


hana wa mina
natsu kodachi
midori mo haru no
iro naranu ka wa
The blossoms have all
Finished falling, but
The summer clustered trees’
Green – of spring
Is it not, too, a shade?

Lord Ari’ie.




natsu koromo
usu moeginaru
waka kaede
akizome kaemu
iro zo yukashiki
The summer garb of
Pale grass-green
Young maple trees
To autumn shades will change;
How I long to see those hues!

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right state, ‘In the previous round there was an assessment that our poem was inappropriate: if so, this poem of the Left’s seems to contain a concealed longing for Spring.’ The Left reply, ‘The previous poem concluded with “sacred groves” (kamunabi no mori). This poem has “Is it not, too, a shade?” (iro naranu ka wa), and so a spirit of appreciation of summer. It is the same as Right’s poem in the previous round.’

Shunzei’s judgement is, ‘Although I have little liking for “summer clustered trees” (natsu kodachi), “green – of spring” (midori mo haru no) seems particularly fine. The Right’s poem does not appear to be appreciating new trees and, saying “To autumn shades will change; How I long to see those hues!” (akizome kaemu iro zo yukashiki) is contrary to the central meaning of the topic. Furthermore, “how I long” (yukashiki) is an unsuitable expression. The Left must win.’