Summer I: 24

Left (Win).

夜川たつ五月來ぬらし瀬瀬を尋め八十伴の男も篝さすはや

yogawa tatsu
satsuki kinurashi
sese o tome
yasotomo no o mo
kagari sasu wa ya
The night fishing
Fifth Month has come, and to
Rapid after rapid go
Eighty gentlemen
Bearing fishing fires…

Kenshō.

227

Right.

鵜飼舟高瀬さし越すほどなれやむすぼゝれゆく篝火の影

ukaibune
takase sashikosu
hodo nare ya
musubōreyuku
kagaribi no kage
The cormorant boats:
O’er the risen rapids
Will they pass this time?
All in tangles are
The lights of the fishing fires…

Jakuren.

228

The Right state simply that the Left’s poem is ‘grating on the ear’, and the Left are equally blunt: ‘It is unconvincing to state that fire tangles.’

Shunzei states, ‘“Night fishing” (yogawa tatsu) seems to me to be an extremely overblown expression. And, “All in tangles are the lights of the fishing fires” (musubōreyuku kagaribi no kage) – this is, indeed, something that can be seen when crossing rapids where the water is high. The Left’s poem is certainly unmelodious, however, having such a dichotomy between the beginning and end of a poem, as in the Right’s case is, I think, insupportable. Thus, for this reason, the Left should win, I think.

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