Winter II: 18



shiishba wa
fuyu koso hito ni
koto tou arare
nokosu kogarashi
The brushwood,
That ‘tis winter to folk
Does tell;
Hail raising cries from leave
Left by the freezing winds.

Lord Sada’ie.


Right (Win).


yū koekureba
shiishiba no
ureba ni tsutau
tama arare kana
Just on the edge of mountain deeps,
When evening has passed by,
The brushwood’s
Leaf-tips display
Gemstone hail!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right state that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘fierce’ [arashi]. The Left state that the Right’s ‘gemstone hail’ (tama arare) ‘sounds poor’ [kikiyokarazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: The Gentlemen of the Right have stated that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘fierce’ – how can they say this? I would say that it appears perfectly pleasant [yoroshiku koso miehabere, ikaga]. However, the Right’s ‘when evening has passed by’ (yū koekureba) and ‘leaf-tips’ (ureba) seem a rather overblown style to me [kotogotoshiki fūtei ni miehaberi]. ‘Gemstone’ (tama), though, in addition to being a word used to praise something, is used in conjunction with ‘hail’, in ‘the echoes are chill as pearls falling one by one from a dragon’s jaw’ . There is nothing to criticise about it. Thus, the Right should win.

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