Composed when it was said that a poetry competition was to be held at the residence of the Middle Captain Lady of the Bedchamber in the Ninna period.
oshi to omoFu kokoro Fa ito ni yorarenan tiru Fana goto ni nukite todomemu
If regrets Within my heart should into threads Be spun, then Through every scattered blossom Would I sew to hold them here…
 It was taboo to record the personal names of noble women of high rank unless they were made empress. The Ninna 仁和 period began on the 11th day of the Third Month, 885, and lasted until the 30th day of the Fifth Month, 889. ‘Lady of the Bedchamber’ (miyasudokoro 御息所) was a title given to imperial consorts who had given birth to a prince, while ‘Middle Captain’ (chūjō 中将) was a military position in the palace guards. Contemporary readers would have been able to identify who the ‘Lady who had given birth to an imperial prince and whose father held the position of Middle Captain during the Ninna period’ was, but modern scholarship has not done so; nor have records of this poetry competition survived.
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Left state: neither beginning nor end is sufficiently forcefully expressed.
In judgement: the conception and configuration of the Left’s ‘fisherman at Shiga Bay’ (shigatsu no ama) certainly seem splendid. That is really all there is to say about this poem. To make a deliberate point of seeking out elements which sound difficult is a pointless activity for the Way of Poetry and an individual poet. As for the Right’s poem, diving ‘to the sea bed’ (soko made) is just something that fisher-girls do. The Left must win.