Winter I: 9

Left.

霜降れば若紫の色映へて菊は老せぬ花にぞ有ける

shimo fureba
wakamurasaki no
iro haete
kiku wa oisenu
hana ni zo arikeru
With frost-fall,
A fresh violet
Hue shines out;
Chrysanthemums show not their age –
Such blooms are they!

Kenshō.

497

Right (Win).

染めかふる籬の菊の紫は冬にうつろふ色にぞ有ける

somekauru
magaki no kiku no
murasaki wa
fuyu ni utsurou
iro ni zo arikeru
Stained a different hue,
The chrysanthemums by my lattice fence
With violet
Show the shift to winter –
Such is their hue!

Lord Tsune’ie.

498

Neither Left nor Right have any criticisms to make.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on ‘violet chrysanthemums’, and the Left’s ‘Chrysanthemums show not their age’ (kiku wa oisenu) is elegant [yū naru], but in terms of diction [kotoba] I find myself unable to accept [shokisubekarazu] ‘hue shines out’ (iro haete). The Right’s ‘Show the shift to winter – such is their hue!’ (fuyu ni utsurou iro ni zo arikeru), sounds pleasant [yoroshiku kikoe habere] and is in line with the Theory of the Five Elements. Violet is a colour obtained by adding black to red. Thus, it is a suitable hue to place between Autumn and Winter. The Right have composed upon such a conception most naturally [sono kokoro shizen ni yomaretaru]. It seems he is most knowledgeable about the elemental turning of the seasons [go gyō no rinten o shireru ni nitari]. The poem is pleasant in conception and configuration [kokoro sugata yoroshiki]. Again, the Right should win.

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