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.
The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of the autumn wind blowing into a bedroom. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.
In judgment: while it does not sound as if there is a clear winner or loser between the ‘dust I’ve left untouched’ (harawanu chiri) used by both parties, why on earth should the autumn wind not blow into the Left’s bedroom? Really, there is no fault at all in saying that the wind will blow into a dilapidated bedroom! The Right has ‘dust I’ve left untouched’ flowing away with the speaker’s tears, and lacks any faults from beginning to end, but the configuration of the Left’s concluding ‘dust I’ve left untouched is brushed by the cloying wind of autumn’ is superior. The initial section of this poem is a little lacking, however, so both poems are equivalent and should tie.
The Right state: ‘did sleep’ (neshi) is particularly unimpressive. The Left state: ‘more than sleeves’ (sode o kagiru) is, perhaps, over-definite.
In judgement: in the Left’s poem, despite ‘did sleep upon these blankets’ (neshi samushiro) referring to something which definitely exists, it still sounds as if there is not much poetic expression in the poem. ‘Is a memento’ (katami ga tera) fails to resemble ‘for blossom viewing’ (hanami ga tera). As for the Right’s poem, I certainly would not say that ‘tears on more than sleeves have that effect’ (namida wa sode o kagiru nomi ka wa) is over-definite. It is somewhat difficult to make out on hearing, but the configuration is poetic, indeed, so the Right should win, it seems.
The Right state: the Left’s poem certainly has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no conception of Love.
In judgement: both Gentlemen’s pictures are ‘painted’ (kakitomete), with the Left then using ‘upon my darling’ (imo ga ue ni mo), which certainly has a conception of love. The Right simply draws a picture of a maidenflower and drenches it with dew, so it does not seem as if he is being moved by the sight of a person. Thus, again, the Left seems the superior poem.