fuyu kureba momiji furishiku kaminazuki saho no yamabe wa mube morinuran When the winter comes, Scarlet leaves, falling and scattering In the Godless Month, Upon the slopes of Mount Saho, Indeed, are at their finest.
fuyugomori karete miyuran ume ga e wa ima hata hana no haru wa niowan Sealed in winter, and All withered seeming, The plum tree’s branches, Now, for sure, the blossoms’ Spring will scent.
fuyu mireba mizu mo makasenu oyamada ni itsu sukikaeshi tane o makiken ‘Tis winter, I see, so There’s no water to draw for The little mountain paddies: O, when might I till them, and Sow my seeds, I wonder?
shigure furu yado ni sumaeba fuyu no yo ni nishiki to miyuru kigi no hana kana Showers fall Upon the house where I do dwell, so Upon a winter’s night As brocade do seem The blossoming trees!
yūdasuki kami no yashiro ni kaketsureba shimo shi furu ni mo tanomashiki kana Sacred mulberry cords Around the God’s shrine Are hung, so Even amidst the frost fall, The future does seem bright!
shiragumo no futae furishiku tokiwa yama ura hae toshi wa midori narikere Clouds of white Lie scattered, twofold, upon The unchanging mountain: Stretching out behind, the year Is simply green.
aki no yo no tsuki no hikari wa kiyokeredo hito no kokoro no kuma wa terasazu On an autumn night The moon’s light is So clear, yet upon Her heart’s Depths it fails to shine.
yūdasuki kakete no koso koishikere aki to shi nareba hito Cords of mulberry cloth Hung, are all the more Dear; When the autumn comes, She…
The final words of this poem have not survived, so we need to use our imaginations to think of how it might have concluded.
 This poem was included in Gosenshū ( VI: 323).
yūdasuki kakete tanomedo wa ga tame wa negi gotoki kanu yashiro narikeri Mulberry cord garlands I hang and plead, yet For me, they Cannot be as a priest At a shrine…
kumo no ue o
izuru tsukai no
mukau hikage ni
kazasu kyō kana From above the clouds
The messengers emerge;
Bearing branches, hollyhock decked,
Bent towards the sun-bright power
In adornment on this day.
kakete zo tanomu
miare to omoeba With mulberry-cloth
Garlanded, wishing for
A jewelled belt of
Hollyhocks, on this joyful
The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
The Right have no particular remarks to make about the Left’s poem. The Left, however, comment, ‘“Festival” (
matsuri)and “festive” ( miare) are somewhat different. They do not refer to events held on the same day.’
Shunzei responds, ‘While the Left’s “Bent towards the sun-bright power” (
mukau hikage) certainly provides no evidence of a lack of feeling, in overall form the Right’s poem seems more elegantly flowing [ migi utazama, iinagasaretaru yō]. While it is true that the festive days begin two days prior to the festival itself, the term can also apply to the evening of the festival day, and so the two can be seen as synonymous. The Right would seem to win.’