Tag Archives: rock clefts

Spring III: 17

Left (Win).


chiru hana o
kyō no matoi no
hikari nite
namima ni meguru
haru no sakazuki
Falling blossoms
To the gathering today
Add lustre,
Circling between the waves go
The wine-cups of spring.

A Servant Girl.




iwama yori
nagarete kudasu
sakazuki ni
hana no iro sae
ukabu kyō kana
From the rock-clefts
Float down
Cups of wine –
Even the blossoms’ hues
Seem adrift upon them, today…

Lord Takanobu.


The Right team state that the Left’s poem, ‘seems good,’ while the Left state that the Right’s combination of nagarete (‘flow’) and kudasu (‘send down’) is ‘inharmonious and would be better reversed.’ (In his poem, Takanobu has combined an intransitive verb nagaru with a transitive one, kudasu, and the Left are complaining that it’s odd to have something flowing (on its own) and then being sent down (by someone), so it would have been better phrased as kudashite nagaru, ‘sent down and then flowed’.)

Shunzei comments that, ‘Both poems have superlative elements. The Right’s nagaretekudasu is not entirely inharmonious, but the Left’s “circling between the waves go the wine-cups of spring” is particularly fine. Thus, I award it victory.’

Spring III: 16

Left (Tie).


iwama o kudaru
sakazuki wa
sashite tare ni to
miezu mo aru kana
Drifting down
Through the rock clefts, come
The winecups,
Proffered by no one,
Or so it seems…

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Tie).


iwama wake
nagare mo yaranu
sakaduki wa
Through the rock clefts
Unable to flow are
The winecups:
I would offer one, yet
‘Tis no use, at all.

Lord Tsune’ie.


Yet again, neither team has anything to say about the other’s poem.

Shunzei says, ‘Both Left and Right have composed on “rock cleft wine cups”, with a concept of “proffered to someone” (sashite tare ni) or “I would proffer, yet” (kokorozasedomo): these are truly identical in quality. The round must tie.’

Spring III: 15



kyō to ieba
iwama ni yodomu
sakazuki o
matanu sora made
hana ni youran
Talking of today,
Caught in clefts between the rocks, yet
The wine cups’
Not awaiting, even the skies seem
Drunk on blossom.

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Win).


hana no iro wa
irihi o nokosu
ki no moto ni
haru mo kureyuki
mika tsuki no sora
The blossoms’ hues
Have caught the setting sun, while
Beneath the trees
Springtime dusk draws on,
A crescent moon within the sky.



Both teams have no particular comments to make about the other’s poem.

Shunzei remarks, ‘Both poems are of similar quality, as has been mentioned by the gentlemen present, however, the Left’s poem is clearly in the spirit of “With blossom the heavens are drunk, in the season of plentiful peaches.” (A well known Chinese poem composed by Sugawara no Michzane.) But the Right’s “Springtime dusk draws on, a crescent moon” captures the light better, I think. Thus, it seems to be the winner.’