Winter I: 12

Left.

白菊の散らぬは殘る色顔に春は風をも恨みけるかな

shiragiku no
chiranu wa nokoru
irogao ni
haru wa kaze o mo
uramikeru kana
The white chrysanthemums
Will not scatter: they have about them
That look
Towards the springtime wind
Of spite!

Lord Sada’ie.

503

Right (Win).

花もかく雪の籬まで見る菊の匂ひは袖にまた殘さなん

hana mo naku
yuki no mase made
miru kiku no
nioi wa sode ni
mata nokosanan
Until flowers are there none
And snow piles against my fence,
Gazing at the chrysanthemums,
I wish the scent upon my sleeves
Would linger yet…

Nobusada.

504

The Right state that the Left’s poem has nothing to do with lingering chrysanthemums in its initial part, and the concluding section is incomprehensible [kokoroegatashi]. The Left merely remark that the Right’s ‘snow piles against my fence’ (yuki no mase) sounds poor [kikiyokarazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: The gentleman of the Right states that ‘the Left’s poem has nothing to do with lingering chrysanthemums’ – this really isn’t the case, is it? Even superficially, this is not true [omote naki ni wa arazu].However, I am unable to accept ‘look’ (irogao) as appropriate diction. In the Right’s poem, ‘snow piles against my fence’ (yuki no mase), again, charmingly and especially reflects the conception of lingering chrysanthemums [zangiku no kokoro mo koto ni miete okashiku koso mie]. In general, hearing both sides complaining that the other’s poems ‘sound poor’ or ‘grate upon the ear’ is itself unpleasant to hear. The Right wins.

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