Winter I: 27



kigisu naku
sagano no hara no
miyuki ni wa
furuki ato o ya
saki tazunuran
The pheasants cry
In the fields of Sagano;
On this Imperial Progress,
The traces of times long gone
Should we visit first?

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Win).


suberagi no
kyō no miyuki wa
mikarino no
kusaha mo nabiku
mono ni zo arikeru
On His Majesty’s
Progress on this day
To His hunting grounds
The very blades of grass do bow
Before Him

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right state that pheasants do not cry out during the winter, to which the Left reply that this is seen occasionally in recent poetry. The Left then comment that mi occurs too often in the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘traces of times long gone’ (furuki ato o ya) is most fine [yoroshiku haberubeshi]. On pheasants crying in winter, it goes without saying that they do not, and in this poem in particular, I wonder about the appropriateness of ‘pheasants crying’ (because it was convention to avoid anything with potentially negative associations in a poem on the topic of Imperial Visits). The Right’s poem commences with ‘His Majesty’ (suberagi no) and continues with ‘the very blades of grass do bow’ (kusaha mo nabiku) which has felicitous associations. Thus, the Right must win.

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