Tag Archives: miscanthus grass

Winter I: 17

Left (Win).


yume ka sa wa
nobe no chigusa no
omokage wa
honobono maneku
susuki bakari ya
Was it all a dream?
Across the fields a thousand blooms
Did meet my gaze; now
Dimly beckoning
Are there only fronds of miscanthus grass…

Lord Sada’ie.




taedae nobe ni
shita hau kuzu zo
The clumps of miscanthus grass
From time to time across the fields
Do wave, yet
The creeping arrowroot beneath
Holds all my regrets…



The Right state that the initial line of the Left’s poem is ‘awkward’ [amari nari], and that they cannot approve of the final use of ya. The Left wonder about the appropriateness of ‘Holds all my regrets’ (uramihatenuru).

Shunzei’s judgement: The Gentlemen of the Right have a number of criticisms of the Left’s poem. However, with careful consideration, while the poem is not tasteful in its entirety [subete yū ni shimo arazaredo], the initial line does not seem that strange, and the final ya is fine, is it not? The Right’s ‘The clumps of miscanthus grass from time to time across the fields do wave’ is tasteful [yū naru], but all that connects with ‘arrowroot’, is the subsequent ‘seeing what lies beneath’. ‘Arrowroot’ is too briefly in the poem for this. The initial and final sections of the Left’s poem have been criticised by the Gentlemen of the Right, but they are not without purpose. Thus, the Left wins.