The Right state: the Left’s poem is fine. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.
In judgement: both poems are certainly by men entranced by thoughts of player-girls. The configuration and diction of ‘are his sleeves as mine?’ (sode wa mono ka wa) and ‘would I fall in love?’ (kouru mono ka wa) are both not unpleasant. Thus, I make this a tie.
In judgement: both Left and Right mention ‘a crane calling for her chick’ (ko o omou tsuru). This would appear to be after the conception of the pentachord in Bai’s Works: ‘The third and fourth strings are chill, and at night a crane, loving her chick, calls from her cage.’ This is not the usual zither with seven strings, but it is certainly also a kind of zither. In the topic ‘On Zithers’ there is certainly no issue with alluding to Japanese zithers or Chinese ones, is there? In any case, neither poem seems greatly inferior or superior, so the round ties.
odae no hashi to
nao hito shirezu
To the broken bridge of Odae
Have we come, yet
Still, unknown to all,
Might our love make a crossing?
The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the purpose of ‘fallen leaves swept along’ (ko no ha furishiku) in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian.
In judgement: Both the poems of the Left and of the Right use ‘bridge of Odae’ (odae no hashi) which is tasteful. The Left’s ‘fallen leaves swept along’ must be following Ise Monogatari. The gentlemen of the Right must surely be pretending ignorance! The poem of the Right, too, has an elegant total configuration, but ‘unknown to all’ (hito shirezu) is at odds with the emotional overtones. Thus the Left’s ‘fallen leaves swept along the autumn paths back and forth’ is better. I make it the winner.
The Right state: the upper section of the Left’s poem is little different from its origin poem, while its lower part is grating on the ear. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no particular faults to mention.
In judgement: in addition to the use of ‘the pipe well’ (tsutsui tsu) by both Left and Right not being that unusual, the Left’s ‘pipe well’ having surpassed its height does not sound that profound in conception. ’Spring’s water, makes me young’ (haru no wakamizu) isn’t bad, so the Right wins.