Love I: 13



chigiri araba
aimite nochi zo
katarishi sama no
keshiki naritomo
Should we have a bond,
After meeting
I would, no doubt, know it;
And that the tales
Of her appearance are true…

Lord Suetsune.




hitozute ni
nani ka kokoro o
koizame naraba
kuyashikaraji ya
Via go-betweens
Why should I my heart
Pour out?
For should I lose interest in loving you,
How vexing it would be!

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office.


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we find no faults worth mentioning in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right is overly frivolous.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left, by beginning ‘Should we have a bond’ (chigiri araba) gives an impression that that the poem will be fine, but the final section has little depth, and is only lightly linked with the conception. As for the Right’s poem, if one has ‘lost interest’, there would be no gain in truly pouring out one’s heart! Neither poems sounds like a winner, or a loser.

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