Spring II: 3

Left (Win)

うちむれてなれぬる人の心をば野邊の霞もへだてやはせん

uchimurete
narenuru hito no
kokoro o ba
nobe no kasumi mo
hedate ya wa sen
To a gathering
Of friendly folk
With hearts all in accord,
The haze across the fields
Will be no hindrance, at all.

Lord Ari’ie.

65

Right.

梓弓春の日ぐらし引つれているさの原にまとゐをぞする

azusayumi
haru no higurashi
hikitsurete
irusa no hara ni
matoi o zo suru
A catalpa bow:
Spring, all day long,
Drawn out
Upon Irusa Plain
Let’s music make!

Lord Tsune’ie.

66

The Right have nothing special to say about the Left’s poem, but the Left grumble that the Right’s seems to be more on the theme of bows, than ‘field pleasures’, and add that they ‘fail to understand’ the reason why Irusa Plain has been singled out, among all the plains in Japan.

Shunzei, however, says that this criticism is ‘completely unjustified’ and that the Right’s poem is ‘strictly in accord’ with the theme of ‘field pleasures’. He goes on to praise the use of association in the poem, with azusa yumi, ‘catalpa bow’, associating with haru (‘spring’, but also ‘draw (a bow)’), hiki (‘pull’), iru (‘shoot (a bow)’) and mato (‘target’). Moving on to the Left’s poem, he says that the final stanzas seem ‘particularly good’, and that it would ‘do a disservice’ to the composition of poetry if he awarded a victory based on association alone, so the Left’s poem must be the winner.

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