iro ni idashi
koto no ha mo mina
namida o chirasu
kaze no oto kana
The bright hues of passion
In these leaves and your words
Have all withered away;
Tears scattering with
The sound of the wind…
The Right state: ‘Breeze: whither’ (kaze izukata e) seems lacking. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.
In judgement: in the Left’s poem, I wonder whether ‘breeze: wither’ really is lacking. ‘This pleasant’ (kokoro no ai) would seem to be an expression deriving from ‘At the head of the road’. I seem to recall it coming after ‘In Kofu in Takefu / Will I be’, but that is not a suitable source. The Right’s poem, as the Gentlemen of the Left have said, appears to have no faults. It should win.
Both Left and Right together state: we have nothing we feel we should say.
In judgement: the final section of the Left’s poem is clichéd. I also wonder about the sound of ‘in desolation am I’ (ukimi). The Right’s poem has nothing particularly remarkable about it, but it should win
The Right state: we would have preferred it to have been ‘is it that my heart drifts?’ (ukinuru kokoro ya). The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks faults.
In judgement: the final sections of both poems seem fine. For strict correctness, the Left should have had ‘my drifting heart does seem confused’ (ukinuru kokoro wa mayourashi), but because this would not fit with the poem, he has left it as ‘in seeming confusion’ (mayouran). The poem is fine as it is, without introducing ‘is it that my heart’ (kokoro ya). I don’t know what to make of the expression ‘to your home’ (kimigari), but ‘how may layers must the clouds pass though on the heavenly paths?’ (kumo wa iku e zo sora no kayoiji) is charming. Then again, the Right’s ‘buries my heart beneath the evening skies?’ (kokoro o uzumu yūgure no sora) has a gentle beauty about it. Thus, the round should tie.
The Right state: the central line of the Left’s poem is stiff. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no particular faults.
In judgement: the statements in regard to both poems are at variance with my own opinion. I will refrain from expressing that here, although I do regret that, somewhat. If, indeed, a central line is core, then it is better for it to lack connection with the remainder of the poem. In the case of the Left’s poem, however, it seems well linked with what follows. As for the Right’s poem, ‘bedchamber the flooding moon’ (neya moru tsuki) is not phrasing which is acceptable to me. However, the Left’s initial section seems pleasant, and the Right’s final section is elegant. Thus, the round is a tie.