In judgement: here we have ‘O, just blow gently’ (fuki dani susame), and the Right has ‘Past my eaves, where on the hillside’ (nokiba no oka no): these recollect the poems ‘in the depths of sleep I tread to you’ (uchinuru naka ni yukikayou) and ‘the beams strike the hillside through the pine needles’ (sasu ya okabe no matsu no ha); both sound elegant. I make this round a tie.
The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the intial part of the Right’s poem is derived from an old poem, and so does the end!
In judgement: I wonder whether the cogon-grass (asajū), mentioned initially, is as clearly conceived as the ‘lawn’ (michishiba) mentioned at the end? The Right’s poem refers to ‘So full are my thoughts, what am I to do? With the autumn wind’, but reverses the beginning and end of that poem; it is extremely old-fashioned in style, but pleasant as it is plainly intended to be understood as a variant of its model. Thus, the Right wins over the combination of ‘cogon-grass’ and ‘lawn’.
Both Left and Right state: we can grasp the sense of the opposing poem.
In judgement: I am unable to tell what it is that ‘does not come one evening’ (konu yūgure). ‘Whispers the autumn wind’ (akikaze no koe) is also perhaps rather novel. The Right’s ‘Garden pines, o, wind!’ (niwa no matsukaze) sounds pleasant. It should win.
The Right state that the Left’s initial line makes their poemsound like a reply. In addition, the final line is ‘overly forceful’ [itau tsuyoku]. The Left merely comment that the Right’s use of ‘sparrow’ (suzume) is ‘inappropriate’.
Shunzei’s judgement: Even though the Left’s poem is not a reply, starting with ‘I would go a’calling’ (toekashi na) is common in the reply style [zōtōtei]. In addition, ‘Winter Mornings’ is not a topic which one needs to approach obliquely. There are only the good and bad points of the poetry. ‘From underneath the eaves to the sparrows’ chirps have I grown accustomed’ (noki no uchi ni suzume no koe wa naruru) is not an expression much used about morning snow. However, the final section of the poem appears fine. ‘Sparrows’ chirps’ (suzume no koe) is, perhaps, somewhat colloquial [zoku no chikaku]. Despite the comment by the gentlemen of the Right that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘overly forceful’, it is a better ‘Winter Morning’ poem.
The Right remark that the Left’s poem, ‘seems overly humorous’ [tawabure ni nitari]. The Left counter by wondering, ‘Whether it really is possible to separate flower and scent?’
Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem, even though it has a ‘flower’s heart’ (hanagokoro) ‘changing’ (utsurou), seems to lack the conception of a poem on ‘lingering chrysanthumums’ [zangiku no kokoro sukunaku kikoyuru ni ya]. As for the Right’s poem, although it is true that flower and scent are not separate, there are poems composed on plum blossom, such as ‘The plum blossoms’/Scent, disturbingly,/Clings to my sleeves’ or ‘Leave behind your scent, at least’, so ‘a trace of scent’ (nioi mo nochi wa) does not seem to be a fault. ‘Leave trailed behind’ (utsuroinokore), too, is not unpleasant [yoroshikarazaru ni arazu]. The Right should win.
The Right state that the Left’s poem ‘seems superficially appealing, but actually has nothing remarkable about it.’ The Left question how the poet can ‘make his way through the dusk’ (kure o wakeyuku) and ‘shatter’ (kudakuru) the wind.
Shunzei’s judgment: The lower section of the Left’s poem is charming [okashiku koso haberu], but the initial section is frequently used, and old fashioned [tsune no furugoto nite]. The Right’s shattering of the wind in ‘the distant mountains’ dusk’ is a questionable expression [obotsukanaki yō], but the Left’s initial section really does sound as if it lacks any artistry [muisugite kikoyu]. The Right’s total effect is most fine [sugata yoroshiku miehaberi]. It should win.