Tag Archives: sparrows

Winter II: 3

Left (Win).

訪へかしな庭の白雪跡絶えてあはれも深き冬の朝を

toekashi na
niwa no shirayuki
ato taete
aware mo fukaki
fuyu no ashita o
I would go a’calling;
In my garden the white snowfall
Has covered all the tracks;
How deep is my sorrow,
On this winter morning!

Lord Kanemune.

545

Right.

軒のうち雀の聲は馴るれども人こそ知らぬ今朝の白雪

noki no uchi ni
suzume no koe wa
naruredomo
hito koso shiranu
kesa no shirayuki
From underneath the eaves
To the sparrows’ chirps
Have I grown accustomed, yet
No one noticed
This morning’s fall of snow so white…

Nobusada.

545

The Right state that the Left’s initial line makes their poemsound like a reply. In addition, the final line is ‘overly forceful’ [itau tsuyoku]. The Left merely comment that the Right’s use of ‘sparrow’ (suzume) is ‘inappropriate’.

Shunzei’s judgement: Even though the Left’s poem is not a reply, starting with ‘I would go a’calling’ (toekashi na) is common in the reply style [zōtōtei]. In addition, ‘Winter Mornings’ is not a topic which one needs to approach obliquely. There are only the good and bad points of the poetry. ‘From underneath the eaves to the sparrows’ chirps have I grown accustomed’ (noki no uchi ni suzume no koe wa naruru) is not an expression much used about morning snow. However, the final section of the poem appears fine. ‘Sparrows’ chirps’ (suzume no koe) is, perhaps, somewhat colloquial [zoku no chikaku]. Despite the comment by the gentlemen of the Right that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘overly forceful’, it is a better ‘Winter Morning’ poem.