Love IV: 1

Left (Win).

yo o fukami
shibanaku kake wa
ware gotoku
netemo sametemo
koi ya subenaki
At the close of night
The cock crows from time to time,
Just as I
Both sleeping and waking,
Won’t a thought of love console me?



aimite wa
uki orifushi mo
tori no ne ni
A meeting always
Brings a painful parting, but
The cock’s crow
Brings back memories
Of the one I love…


The Right state: we cannot comprehend a cock feeling thoughts of love when asleep. The Left state: the initial section of the Right’s poem is incomprehensible. The second section is antiquated.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘cock crows from time to time’ (shibanaku kake) and ‘Won’t a thought of love console me?’ (koi ya subenaki) are expressions the style of which I am unable to accept. Moreover, I don’t feel that cocks really have thoughts of love while they are asleep. But, I have wondered, when hearing them crow so vigorously at dawn whether, ‘just as I, both sleeping and waking, they are thinking of love’? The Right’s poem is somewhat naïve in style, and suggests that after having met, and parted from, a lover, subsequently hearing the cock crow brings back mixed feelings of love and sorrow, but the initial impression it gives is that because a meeting has brought about painful feelings, something has happened – but what this is is left unclear. The Left’s poem is certainly not out of keeping with one in this style. Thus, the Left should win.

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