The Gentlemen of the Right state: we find no faults to mention in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the reason for emphasising ‘upon a river of tears the plovers’ (namida no kawa ni chidori).
In judgement: the Left on a lover’s letters becoming intermittent, and saying ‘the geese up in the skies, glimpsed, and then not seen at all’ (kumoi ni kari no miemi miezumi) has a charming conception, and elegant diction. The Right, saying ‘at midnight my sleeve is stirred by the wind’ (yowa no tamoto ni kaze fukete) and continuing ‘the plovers are crying’ (chidori nakunari) has a configuration and diction which sounds fine, too. The criticisms of the Gentlemen of the Left are nothing more than ‘a fisherman fishing beneath his pillow’! Although the conception of the Left’s poem is charming, the configuration of the Right’s poem is slightly more notable, so it should win.
The Gentlemen of the Right state: the use of the diction of ‘description’ (arisama) in the Left’s poem is inappropriate for the style of the poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is no more than a pedestrian poem on homeward-bound geese.
Shunzei’s judgement: The Left certainly does sound most mundane and unpoetic. As for the Right, while it seems like an evocative poem addressed to the topic of homeward-bound geese, is it not difficult for geese, or people, to leave behind their cries? In addition, it is unclear what sort of thoughts it is that occupy the poet. Both poems’ style lacks clarity. Thus, they are comparable and the round must tie.