Autumn III: 8



suzumishi natsu no
iro kawarite mo
nao narasu kana
Beneath the oaks is
Cool in summer –
A fresh green grove;
Their hues have changed, but
Still, ‘tis where I take my rest…

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Win).


yama meguru
shigure no yado ka
wa ga mono kao ni
iro no miyuran
Roaming round the mountains
Is the showers’ lodging
Above the oaks?
Such satisfaction in their
Hues, there seems to be!



The Right state that ‘a fresh green grove’ (aogidachi) in the Left’s poem is difficult to accept [kikinikushi].The Left wonder what is meant by ‘Such satisfaction in their hues, there seems to be!’ (wa ga mono kao ni iro no miyuran).

Shunzei’s judgement: With regard to the Left’s poem, the cool of summer is usually evoked by phrases such as ‘the shade of the cedars by the Barrier springs’, or ‘’neath the pines growing by waters flowing from the rocks’, and so one wonders why a fresh green grove of oaks has been used. When the focus [mune] in a poem is autumn leaves, using ‘yet’ (nao) suggests that the poet has something else in mind. The Right’s poem is charming in conception [kokoro wa okashiku kikoyuru], but ‘lodging’ (yado ka) as a piece of diction is insufficiently heartfelt [kotoba no shokisubekarazu]. However, the Left’s poem is lacks sufficient feeling throughout [kotogoto ni kanshinserarezu]. Thus, I make the Right the winner.

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