The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left state that they find the Right’s poem, ‘difficult to grasp’. In reply, the Right say, ‘It is conceived after a Chinese poem that “the wind in the pines is the sound of rain”.’
Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem is excellent in both configuration and diction [sugata kotoba yoroshiku haberumere]. The Right’s ‘clouded only by a storm’ (arashi ni kumoru) sounds charming in conception [kokoro okashiku kikoyu] – even without drawing upon the Chinese model. In this round, too, there is no clear winner or loser and it must tie.
The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem. The Left wonder whether the use of ‘I cannot regret’ (oshimikane) implies that the poet feels nothing prior to that.
Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s final section is elegant [yū ni haberu], but although I have heard of many different types of wind, I have no recollection of any familiarity [kikinarete mo oboehaberane] with a ‘fickle wind’ (ukitaru kaze). While I feel the Right’s poem has no particular faults, the initial ‘I cannot regret’ (oshimikane) does not seem to fit will with what follows. The poems are alike and the round must tie.
The Right state that the Left’s poem is lacking in conception [kokoro yukazu]. The Left respond that the Right’s poem, as in the previous round, is old-fashioned in both conception and diction [kokoro kotoba onaji yō ni furumekashi].
Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem does seem to have some conception about it, despite the Right’s criticism of this as lacking. Although the Right’s ‘depths of colour’ (iro sae fukaki) appears easy to grasp, again, the round should tie.
The Right state that the Left’s use of –ba ka is grating on the ear [kikinikushi], and query whether saying the ‘flow is stopped’ (nagare mo yaranu) is appropriate. The Left simply say the Right’s poem ‘seems old-fashioned’ [furumekashi].
Shunzei’s judgement: The diction used in the Left’s poem, -ba ka, is simply old-fashioned, and the Right’s criticism is misplaced [sama de arubekarazu]. In addition, I am dubious of their criticism of the latter part of the poem. A somewhat pretentious use of ‘falling leaves’, perhaps? In the Right’s poem, it is inappropriate to combine ‘Otowa Mountain’, ‘stream by the barrier’ and –rashi [because it is an archaic word]. It certainly does not resemble, for example, ‘Mountain dwellings of the gods scarlet leaves look to be falling’ (mimuro no yama ni momiji chirurashi). In addition, ‘Scarlet has the stream by the barrier become’, would mean an excessive fall of leaves, indeed! The Left’s ba ka should win.
The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem this round. The Left wonder about the appropriateness of ‘indifferently falling’ (yosoge ni okeru).
Shunzei’s judgement: The Left saying that on ‘maidenflowers frost falling’ (ominaeshi shimo o itadaki) would put them past their prime seems pointless [sada ni oyobazaru ka]. In addition the final ‘they look, indeed’ (keshiki naru kana) seems feeble [chikara naki]. The Right’s style is intriguing [fūtei kyō arite]. I must make it the winner.
Shunzei’s judgement: The style [fūtei] of both poems is such that neither has an particular points worth criticising, or praising either. However, the Right’s ‘blow not’ (na fuki so) seems insufficient. The Left wins.
The Right wonder about the appropriateness of ‘green entwined’ (midori ni hau), adding that ‘entwined with ivy’ (hau tsuta) also sounds unpleasant [kikiyokarazu]. The Left simply say that the Right’s poem is plainly pedestrian [rei no tsune no koto nari], but have no other criticisms.
Shunzei’s judgement: Although both Left and Right begin with ‘unchanging hue’ (iro kaenu) and there is little to distinguish between them, the Left’s ‘its own scarlet leaves’ (ono ga momiji o) is charmingly poetic style [okashikarubeki yō no fūtei nari]. The Right’s ‘festooning ivy’ (kakareru tsuta) appears as if the poet cannot distinguish between the two plants, which is foolish [orokanarubeshi]. What is there to the criticism of ‘entwined with ivy’? Thus, the Left wins.
The Right state that the initial line in the Left’s poem, ‘the lowest branches’ (shizue made), fail to connect with the poem’s conclusion. The Left state that the Right’s poem is ‘pedestrian’ [tsune no koto], but have no other criticisms.
Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on ‘ivy’, with the Left referring to parasol pines covered in brocade, and the Right a fence joined with scarlet leaves. In conception, neither is unpleasant [kokoro, onoono, okashikarazaru ni arazu]. However, the final section of the Left’s poem is seems to be particularly lacking in poetic qualities [kotoni utashina naki ni nitari]. It would have been better had the Right avoided the artifice of the Left’s festooned parasols [kasahari nado wa sede] and simply mentioned ‘a fence, seemingly surrounded with scarlet leaves’ [momiji o kakouran kakine]. Nevertheless, it should win.