Spring I: 22

Left (Tie).


kasugano no
nobe no kusaba ya
kesa wa yukima no
asamidori naru
On Kasuga Plain
Has the field grass
Begun to sprout?
This morning, the patches ‘tween the snow
Are palely green…

Lord Ari’ie


Right (Tie).


hana o nomi
matsuran hito ni
yamazato no
yukima no kusa no
haru o miseba ya
Blossoms, alone,
Awaiting – to those folk,
My mountain retreat,
With grasses growing ‘tween the snow,
In springtime would I show…



Neither team has any comments to make about the other’s poem.

Shunzei remarks tha the use of no in the Left’s poem is ‘repetitious’. The Right’s phrasing ‘My mountain retreat,/With grasses growing ‘tween the snow’ (yamazato no yukima no kusa) was ‘certainly unusual’, but the poem was ‘appealing’. However, the Left’s poem is successful in evoking Kasuga Plain, and hence it is ‘difficult to judge it lacking’. Thus, a tie is the fairest result.

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