In judgement: both Left and Right use the image of ‘trees from the mountain deeps’ (fukayamagi), and neither is superior, or inferior, to the other in this, but I would have to say that the Left’s ‘though once branches lay atop each other I did hear…’ (tsuranaru eda mo ari to koso kike) is somewhat better than the Right’s ‘on bush-covered beaches, they are not…’ (hisaki naranedo).
The Gentlemen of the Right state: ‘again, and yet again’ (iya’ochi) does not sound pleasant. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.
In judgement: the Left’s poem, having the conception of intertwined branches is pleasant, but ‘treetops at my house’ (yado no kozue) would be normal, so I wonder about ‘as the treetops, you fail to come’ (kimi ga kozue)? In the Right’s poem, although ‘among the oaks; for just a while’ (narashiba no shibashi) is commonplace, it is still more elegant than ‘again and yet again’.
The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults to indicate. The Left state: is the Right’s poem not composed upon the plum blossom of the house next door?
In judgement: for the topic of ‘Nearby Love’, poems composed where the lovers are in the same room are most likely winners. Even so, how close do their dwellings need to be? The Left’s latter section, ‘Her night-robe’s scent upon my sleeves’ (sayogoromo nioi wa sode ni) is certainly elegant. The Right’s poem has ‘Their master is as far away’ (aruji wa tōki). Simply because of this, it is certainly not composed on plum blossom. Still, the Left’s ‘night-robe’ (sayogoromo) seems a little superior to ‘The scent drifting from the treetops is my only consolation’ (nioikuru kozue bakari o nasake nite).
A poem composed in winter in the Eleventh Month, by His Majesty, when the Major Controller of the Left, Prince Kazuragi, and others, were granted the name Tachibana.
mi sape pana sape
sono pa sape
e ni simo puredo
iya toko pa no ki
O, orange tree:
Fruit and flowers both,
And leaves, too,
Even should frost fall on your branches
Evegreen will you be!
The above poem was composed in winter, on the 9th day of the Eleventh Month, after Prince Kazuragi, Junior Third Rank, and Prince Sai, Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade, among others, surrendered their membership of the imperial family and were granted the name of Tachibana. At that time Former Emperor [Genshō], the Emperor [Shōmu], and Empress [Kōmyō], were present in the Empress’ quarters, and hosted a banquet at which poems celebrating the name of Tachibana were composed, and sake was presented to the new members of the family. It is alternatively said, ‘This poem was composed by the Former Emperor. In addition, the Emperor and the Empress each composed a single poem. Those poems were lost and cannot now be located.’ If one seeks copies of the documents now, they say that on the 9th day of the Eleventh Month [Tenpyō] 8 , Prince Kazuragi and other submitted a request to the throne to be granted the name of Tachibana. On the 17th day the request was granted.