Shunzei’s judgement: ‘A path of thorns’ (odoro no michi mo) recollects the gentlemen of the court when garbed for hawking, and certainly sounds accurate, but the final line does not say anything out of the ordinary. On scattered jewels of ‘hail falling on the hunting ground of Ono’ (kariba no ono ni furu arare), you have ‘many folk’ (morobito no) and then ‘today’s Imperial Progress’ (kyō no miyuki ni) which sounds as if both are indistinguishable. It is impossible to assign a winner or loser this round.
The Right find no faults with the Left’s poem. The Left merely say that the Right’s poem sounds old-fashioned [furumekashi].
Shunzei’s judgement: ‘The Left’s ‘I cannot dry my sleeves, on this lonely journey’ (sode hoshikanetsu aware kono tabi) has a strong sound of loneliness about it [sabite wa kikoehaberu], but there is a lack of anything connected to utsu no yama in this poem. In The Tales of Ise where it says ‘By Utsu Mount in reality‘ (utsu no yamabe no utsutsu ni mo), it does not seem that sleet was falling. If there is no reason for including utsu no yama to express the sense of sleet falling, there are many other places which could have been used to express a lonely journey. As there is no reason for including it, formally [sama de] there is a lack of connection to it. The Right’s katano no mino, too, as in the poem ‘To lend lodging to keep me dry, is there no one‘ is about hail, though hawking does take place there, so the poem does sounds slightly charming [sukoshi okashiku kikoyu]. Both Left and Right use utsu no yama and katano no mino, respectively, unnecessarily – anywhere would have done as well. Both poems are equal for this reason.’