Winter II: 4

Left (Win).


hitotose o
asatode ni
usuyuki kōru
sabishisa no hate
All throughout the year
Have I gazed, until I can do no more, then
Opening my door this morning
A light fall of frozen snow
Brings me to the ends of sorrow…

Lord Sada’ie.




hito o sae
towade koso mire
kesa no yuki o
ware fumiwaken
ato no oshiki ni
Even you,
I will not call upon, gazing
At this morning’s snow,
Should I tread through it,
I would regret the tracks I’d leave…

Lord Takanobu.


The Right state that the Left’s poem is ‘overblown and intimidating’ [yuyushigeni odosaretari]. The Left merely state the Right’s poem is ‘unremarkable’ [tsune no koto nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘All throughout the year have I gazed, until I can do no more’ (hitotose o nagametsukushi), followed by ‘the ends of sorrow’ (sabishisa no hate), gives the impression that the snow must be extremely deep, but saying ‘a light fall of frozen snow’ (usuyuki koru) sounds contrary to the content. The Right’s ‘even you, I will not call upon’ (hito o sae towazu) and ‘should I tread through it, I would regret the tracks’ (ware fumiwaken ato no oshiki ni) more than being trite in conception [tsune no kokoro], is direct in diction [kotoba kudakete], and sounds overly definite [amari tashika ni kikoete], so the conception of ‘I will not call upon, gazing’ (towade koso mire) is inferior to that of ‘light snow’ (usuyuki).

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