Winter II: 17



kuchiba mo shita ni
iro mo kawaranu
mine no shiishiba
Fallen, piled
Leaves underfoot
Are there none;
Unchanging are the hues
Of brushwood on the peak.

Lord Suetsune.




shiishiba no
shibashi to omoishi
yo no naka no
yosoji no fuyu ni
narikeru kana
To brushwood
Briefly turned my thoughts
Within this sad world
Forty winters
Have I reached.



The Right can find nothing to criticise in the Left’s poem. The Left say, ‘This is a personal lament, as in the previous round.’

Shunzei’s judgement: ‘The Left’s poem sounds like a congratulatory poem (shūgen) without being one, and its diction and overall conception are splendid [sugata kotoba yoroshiku]. With regard to the Right’s poem, while it is true that one does not normally compose personal laments for poetry competitions [jukkai wa uta’awase ni uchimakasenu koto], it is not the case that there are absolutely no examples of this. While it is true that I find the diction and overall conception of the poem difficult to grasp [uta no sugata kotoba koso nanigoto to wa kokoroezu nagara], it sounds tasteful [yū ni kikoete], and it’s difficult to declare a winner this round. I must make it a tie.’

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