Autumn III: 9



aki zo kashi
wata no ono no
hahaso ga hara ni
momiji ya wa sen
It’s Autumn!
At Iwata-no-Ono,
Needless to say,
The oak groves, all,
Are turning to scarlet leaves.

Lord Ari’ie.




usuku koku
koto wa kawaredo
kozue ni kozoru
aki no iro kana
First dark, then light
They change, yet,
Upon the oak groves’
Treetops gather
All the hues of autumn…

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office.


The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem. The Left state that they find ‘gather’ (kozoru) ‘grating on the ear’ [kikiyokarazu] and ‘clumsy’ [tezutsu].

Shunzei’s judgement: Starting a poem with ‘It’s Autumn!’ is a usage of diction which I must hope will be considered charming [kotobazukai okashikaran to shokiseru narubeshi]! The Right’s ‘treetops gather’ (kozue ni kozoru) is somewhat unexpected wording [sukoshi wa omoikakenu kotoba ni wa haberedo], yet one cannot call it ‘clumsy’. So, with nothing superlative or at fault with either poem, the round ties.

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