au koto no kimi ni taenishi wa ga mi yori ikura no namida nagare’idenuramu My meetings with You, my lord, have ceased, and From my flesh What a torrent of tears Flow out!
kimi koi no amari nishikaba shinoburedo hito no shiruran koto no wabishiki Loving you Beyond all measure, I kept it secret, yet That folk seem to know Is a cause of heartache.
On hearing His Highness, the Prince of the Right remark in irritation that the Left’s poem had appealed to His Majesty’s heart, His Majesty composed
yukikaeri chidori naku naru hamayū no kokoro hedatete omou mono ka wa Going back and forth Plovers cry from The beach among the spider lilies Do their hearts distinguish Do you think?
Composed on plovers on the road to the barrier.
awajishima kayou chidori no naku koe ni ikuyo nesamenu suma no sekimori To Awaji Isle Fly back and forth the plovers— Their calling cries have Wakened, on how many nights, The wardens of Suma barrier?
Minamoto no Kanemasa
A poem composed on an ancient estate by Prince Nagaya.
吾背子我 古家乃里之 明日香庭 乳鳥鳴成 <嬬>待不得而
wa ga seko ga purupe no sato no asuka ni pa tidori nakunari tuma matikanete In that dear man’s Ancient estate home At Asuka Plovers are crying, Impatiently awaiting their mates…
shimo no ue ni ato fumitsukuru hamachidori yukue mo nashi to naki nomi zo suru Upon the frost Treading out tracks are Plovers on the beach; With no place to go, They simply sing!
namidagawa mi nagu bakari no fuchi wa aredo kōri tokeneba kage mo yadoranu My river of tears, Is fit to drown me in It’s depths, yet Should the ice not melt, No sign will linger on…
chidori naku sao no kawagiri tachinu nari mine no momiji no iro masarikeri Plovers cry, as The mists from the Sao River Have risen; On the peaks the scarlet leaves’ Hues are fine, indeed.
This poem is missing from the surviving texts of the competition.
Composed on plovers.
oki tsu shio sashide no iso no hama chidori kaze samukarashi yowa ni tomo yobu From the offing the tides Strike the shore at Sashide; On the beach plovers, Chilled by the wind Call for their mates at midnight.
Supernumerary Middle Counsellor [Fujiwara no] Nagakata (1139-1191)
hamachidori aki to shinareba asagiri ni kata madowashite nakanu hi zo naki The plovers on the beach: When the autumn comes, In the morning mists Do lose their way; No day dawns without their cries…
aki kureba miyamazato koso wabishikere yoru wa hotaru o tomoshibi ni shite When the autumn comes My hut deep in the mountains Is lonelier by far; At night with fireflies For my lantern.
 This poem also appears as Fubokushō 5545 where is it is listed as by Ōe no Chisato
Lacking a Glimpse of Love Letters 不見書恋
fumi tsukuru ato mo mieneba hama chidori tachi’iru sora mo kainakarikeri Of letter writing, too, I see not a sign; The plovers on beach Take wing into the skies, just As pointlessly.
taedae ni naru
kumoi ni kari no
miemi miezumi His jewelled missives
Have become intermittent
It seems, just like
The geese up in the skies,
Glimpsed, and then not seen at all…
yowa no tamoto ni
namida no kawa ni
chidori nakunari Unable to bear my love,
At midnight my sleeve is
Stirred by the wind, and
Upon a river of tears
The plovers are crying…
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.
A chrysanthemum from the River Saho, in Nara.
saFo no kaFabe wo
sakeru Fana kamo Even though the plovers
To the riverside at Saho
Have come seeking,
The waters’ depths are misted
By the flowers’ blooming!