Love X: 26

Left (Win)
恋しさに逢ことかへむ市もがなつれなき人の心をも見ん

koishisa ni
au koto kaemu
ichi mo gana
tsurenaki hito no
kokoro o mo min
With love to
Meet and trade –
If only there were such a market!
Then that cruel one’s
Heart I might find there!

Lord Kanemune
1191

Right
商人の舟の昔を思ふにも恨みは深き涙なりけり

akibito no
fune no mukashi o
omou ni mo
urami wa fukaki
namida narikeri
On a merchant’s
Boat, in thoughts
Of long ago,
My despair is deep
As my tears.

Nobusada
1192

The Right state: while the Left’s poem refers to a market, it has no merchant. The Left state: ‘a merchant’s boat’ (akibito no fune) is punted, and the lute is plucked.

In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, the Gentlemen of the Right’s criticism is that ‘it refers to a market but has no merchant’. ‘With love to meet and trade’ (koishisa ni au koto kaemu) – that suggests a merchant. There is no cause to look elsewhere for an entirely different one! With regard to the Right’s poem, the Left have their own criticism that ‘a merchant’s boat is punted, and a lute is plucked.’ This is, indeed, a most amusing form of words, but I wonder if such levity is appropriate. This poem sounds as if a merchant’s customer is on board his boat, thinking of the past, and listening to the merchant’s wife play the lute. However, while the playing of the lute long ago is evoked, the conception of today’s love lacks clarity. The Left’s poem should win.

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