Winter I: 13

Left (Win).


mishi aki o
nani ni nokosan
kusa no hara
hitotsu ni kawaru
nobe no keshiki ni
Of the sights of autumn
What should I recall?
The fields of grasses
Have become but one
Single plain within my view…

A Servant Girl.




shimogare no
nobe no aware o
minu hito ya
aki no iro ni wa
kokoro tomekemu
A frost-burned
Plain – so sad:
Can one who’s viewed it not
Hold the hues of autumn
Within his heart?

Lord Takanobu.


The Right state that the phrase ‘fields of grasses’ (kusa no hara) ‘sounds poor’ [kikiyokarazu]. The Left state that the Right’s poem is ‘antiquated’ [furumekashi].

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘What should I recall? The fields of grasses’ (nani ni nokosan kusa no hara) is charming [en ni koso haberumere]. The gentlemen of the Right’s reasoning for finding fault with ‘fields of grasses’ is highly flawed [mottomo utata aru ni ya]. Murasaki Shikibu was better at writing prose than composing poems. Thus, The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms is particularly charming [koto ni en’naru mono nari]. It is highly regrettable for one to compose poetry without having read The Tale of Genji. The Right’s poem does not appear poor in diction and conception [kokoro kotoba ashiku wa miezaru]. However, it is extremely mundane in style [tsune no tei narubeshi]. The Left’s poem is better, and I make it the winner.

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