Winter I: 8

Left.

いつしかと移ろふ色の見ゆるかな花心なる八重の白菊

itsu shika to
utsurou iro no
miyuru kana
hanagokoronaru
yae no shiragiku
All at once
Your colours change
I see;
What a flower’s heart you have,
Eightfold chrysanthemum!

Lord Suetsune.

495

Right (Win).

花ならぬ匂ひも後はなき物を移ろひ殘れ庭の白菊

hana naranu
nioi mo nochi wa
naki mono wo
utsuroinokore
niwa no shiragiku
Flowers are there none,
But a trace of scent
Of what’s gone
Leave trailed behind,
O, garden chrysanthemums!

Ietaka.

496

The Right remark that the Left’s poem, ‘seems overly humorous’ [tawabure ni nitari]. The Left counter by wondering, ‘Whether it really is possible to separate flower and scent?’

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem, even though it has a ‘flower’s heart’ (hanagokoro) ‘changing’ (utsurou), seems to lack the conception of a poem on ‘lingering chrysanthumums’ [zangiku no kokoro sukunaku kikoyuru ni ya]. As for the Right’s poem, although it is true that flower and scent are not separate, there are poems composed on plum blossom, such as ‘The plum blossoms’/Scent, disturbingly,/Clings to my sleeves’ or ‘Leave behind your scent, at least’, so ‘a trace of scent’ (nioi mo nochi wa) does not seem to be a fault. ‘Leave trailed behind’ (utsuroinokore), too, is not unpleasant [yoroshikarazaru ni arazu]. The Right should win.

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