Summer II: 30

Left (Win).


naru semi no
ha ni oku tsuyu ni
aki kakete
kokage suzushiki
yūkure no koe
Upon the singing cicadas’
Wings fall dewdrops,
Heralding autumn;
Cool, and shaded by the trees
Are their evening songs…

A Servant Girl.




natsu fukaki
mori no kozue ni
kanete yori
aki o kanashimu
semi no koe kana
In the depths of summer
From the forest treetops,
Long before
Autumn, in sadness
Do the cicadas sing.



Neither Left nor Right can find fault with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei states, ‘It is rather difficult to know a cicada’s mind – as to whether or not it is mourning the coming of autumn long before it arrives. The Left’s “Wings fall dewdrops, heralding autumn” (ha ni oku tsuyu ni aki kakete), is particularly delicate in expression and charming. It must win.’

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