Winter I: 29

Left (Tie).


inishie no
nagare o ukuru
mikari kana
sono serikawa no
ni makasete
In days long gone,
Flowed by here
His Majesty’s hunting party;
At the River Seri,
Traces, tell the tale…

Lord Suetsune.




inishie no
nomori no kagami
kyō mireba
miyuki o utsusu
kōri narikeri
That long ago
Falconer’s mirror
When I look on it today,
Reflecting the progress is
A sheet of ice.



The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem. The Left wonder whether ice is able to reflect anything, and what the purpose of using the term is.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are elegant [yū], starting with ‘In days long gone, flowed by here’ (inishie no nagare o ukuru) and ‘That long ago falconer’s mirror: when I look on it today’ (inishie no nomori no kagami kyō mireba) respectively, but the use of ‘the’ (sono) in the Left’s ‘the River Seri’ (sono serikawa) is poor [ika ni zo kikoyu]. The Right’s ‘ice’ (kōri) really does seem somewhat unsuitable. Thus, it is impossible to pick either as the winner.

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