Tag Archives: violets


A woman who lived in a rather dilapidated place, when she was feeling alone, picked some violets from her garden and sent them to a man saying:


a ga yado ni
sumire no Fana no
kiyadoru Fito ya
aru to matu kana
At my home
The violets bloom
In profusion, so
Wondering if you will come to stay
I am awaiting!


Spring II: 4

Left (Tie)


shiru shirazu
koto ari gao no
matoi kana
tsubana nuku no ni
kyô mo kurashitsu
Folk I know and strangers, both,
Purposefully have come
For music-making;
Gathering reed-ears from the meadow,
Today I’ll pass my day…

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Tie)


itsu shika to
ne no hi ni ideshi
haru no no o
sumire tsumu made
How quickly came
The Rat’s Day: I went out to
The springtime fields and,
Until violet-gathering season comes
Will I tread them down.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right say that it seems that people must have come for something more important than ‘field pleasures’ if they come ‘purposefully’, to which the Left respond that, of course, people take their field pleasures seriously, and suggest that the Right refer to the winning poem in the previous round. They then ask if reed ears don’t appear later in the season than violets, and so query whether the Right’s poem is appropriate at this stage in the contest.

Shunzei says merely that, ‘the comments by both teams are entirely appropriate’ and makes the round a tie.

Spring II: 2

Left (Win).


sumire tsumu ma ni
tobuhino no
kasumi no uchi ni
kyō mo kurashitsu
Gathered all together,
In picking violets,
On Tobuhi Plain
Amongst the haze
Have we spent this day…





kurenuru ka
iza kaerinan
haru no no no
matoi wa kyō ni
kagirubeki ka wa
Is dusk a’falling?
Well then, let’s be homeward bound.
Among the fields in Springtime,
Music, this day
Alone, will not sound.


The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office


The Right team state that the Left’s poem certainly expresses the conception [kokoro wa tashika nari] of ‘Field Pleasures’ but perhaps introduces the topic of ‘violets’ too early for this poetry competition’s sequence. The Left respond, ‘If the poem matches the conception for Field Pleasures [yayū no kokoto dani araba], the matter of timing is no great fault [fukaki toga naku]! The Right’s poem is more on the theme of ‘longing to be heading home’, than ‘Field Pleasures’, and the sentiment of the latter topic is weak [kokorozashi asashiki]’.

Shunzei judges that the Left’s poem seems well-constructed [utazama wa yoroshiki], but that the diction [kotoba] of using ma ni (‘while’) in the expression sumire tsumu ma ni (‘In picking violets’), is ‘undesirable’. The Right’s use of diction is charming [kotobazukai okashikaran], but the poem really is about longing to be off home. The Left’s final stanza is excellent [yoroshiki], and so their poem has to be the winner.