Winter II: 7

Left (Win).


yuki no uchi ni
nao mo midori no
iro nagara
chiyo o arawasu
mine no wakamatsu
In amongst the snows,
Yet still does the fresh, green
Hue remain;
A thousand years made manifest in
The young pines on the peak.

Lord Suetsune.




kesa mireba
yuki takasago no
matsu ga e wa
tsuchi ni tsuku made
Looking on this morning
The snow has reached such heights
The pine boughs are
Bent down to the ground,
Buried by the fall…

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem. The Left state that the Right’s poem is ‘lacking in sense’.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘A thousand years made manifest in the young pines on the peak’ (chiyo o arawasu mine no wakamatsu) is charming [okashiku miehaberu], but the in the phrase ‘Yet still does the fresh, green’ (nao mo midori no), the use of ‘still’ (mo) is old-fashioned, and including it produces a phrasing which is inferior to ‘yet’ (nao) alone. When I say such things, people may find them difficult to accept, but not to do so would do the Way a disservice, and thus, I must. The Right’s ‘The pine boughs are bent down to the ground’ (matsu ga e wa tsuchi ni tsuku made) is something which has been used in poetry since long ago, and so is somewhat commonplace [tsune no koto], but ‘such heights the pine’ (takasago no matsu) does not seem that bad [ito masanakuhaberuran]. The Left’s ‘young pines on the peak’ (mine no wakamatsu) should win.

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