The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Left state: neither beginning nor end is sufficiently forcefully expressed.
In judgement: the conception and configuration of the Left’s ‘fisherman at Shiga Bay’ (shigatsu no ama) certainly seem splendid. That is really all there is to say about this poem. To make a deliberate point of seeking out elements which sound difficult is a pointless activity for the Way of Poetry and an individual poet. As for the Right’s poem, diving ‘to the sea bed’ (soko made) is just something that fisher-girls do. The Left must win.
Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.
In judgement: the Left’s ‘blow across the fisher girl’s rush-woven roof’ (fukikosu ama no toma hisashi) is certainly elegant. The Right’s ‘ospreys hunt along the strand at Isora’ (misago iru isora ga saki) seems a kind of overblown style, yet the Left seems particularly pleasant in form. I make it the winner.
The Right state: the Left’s initial line is unsatisfactory. The Left state: the Right’s central line is also unsatisfactory.
In judgement: it is not just that the Right’s central line is unsatisfactory. A channel buoy, planted in a river and rotting away is quite a commonplace occurrence. For something to be ‘afloat’ (yurasaru), you would need to refer to flotsam, either of wood or bamboo. The Left should win.
The Gentlemen of both Left and Right state: the other team’s poem lacks thought.
Shunzei’s judgement: Both are most poetic examples of examples of verses using the imagery of waves and waters, and there appears to be very little pointless space between them, but rather than being told to ‘soak one’s sleeves’ with no sight of the lady, the ‘deep bond’ of the ‘waters of the Naka River’ seems superior.
The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left do not seem to be expressing enough. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the initial line of the Right’s poem is difficult to pronounce. In addition, it is difficult to understand.
Shunzei’s judgement: the Left’s ‘the surface stopped up, but my sleeves’ (ue seku sode no) and the Right’s ‘held down by my sleeves’ (osauru sode no) are both elegant in form [yū naru sama], but no matter how much I ponder them I find them difficult to comprehend, so again, there is no clear winner or loser this round.