Winter II: 30



hito tose no
hakanaki yume wa
miyo no hotoke no
kane no hibiki ni
A year is but
A fleeting dream
I feel, while
The three worlds’ Buddhas’
Bells yet sound…

A Servant Girl.




hotoke no mina wa
asahi nite
yagate kieyuku
hito tose no tsuyu
The proclaimed
Buddhas’ Honoured names are
As the morning sun,
Finally dispelling
The year’s dewfall.



The Gentlemen of both Left and Right state: we find no faults with the other team’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left’s poem, saying, ‘A fleeting dream I feel’ (hakanaki yume wa oboenuran) leading to ‘The three worlds’ Buddhas’ bells yet sound’ (miyo no hotoke no kane no hibiki) is particularly fine in configuration and conception [sugatakotoba kotoni yoroshiku koso]. The Right’s poem, too, starting ‘Buddhas’ Honoured names are as the morning sun’ (hotoke no mina wa asahi nite) and then having ‘Finally dispelling the year’s dewfall’ (yagate kieyuku hito tose no tsuyu) is reminiscent of the passage from the Samantabhadra Contemplation Sutra ‘many sins are like frost or dew – one can avoid and extinguish them with the sun of the Buddha’s blessings’; both poems move the heart and so I cannot say which is better or worse. Thus, the round ties.

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