I actually really like rules and constraints for this sort of thing because it makes them into sort of a puzzle to try to solve, and I think it sort of recreates some of the conditions that the original was written under. But the rules being inconsistent is I think just a particular kind of hell for an autistic person .
Honestly, I feel like probably the best way to do it would be to have a bilingual native speaker who isn’t participating in the thread choose the best translation. It feels like we just need an impartial judge, I guess. It’s inevitably going to be a little arbitrary, but I’d trust a native speaker’s impulse on which one seemed to capture the original the best. I feel like the results might surprise us.
With poetry, I think sometimes a most direct translation is not the best choice, since often the meaning is captured better by going a little bit outside the bounds of the original. At least, I’ve started to take small creative liberties with my wrestling translations, and I can already tell that they’ve improved a lot in terms of capturing the actual feel of what the characters are saying. Just simple things like switching out Japanese phrases for equivalent common phrases in English, or sometimes not translating a けど as “but” if it makes the English read awkwardly, etc. Often the better choice seems to be to reword things to get around clunky wording that is technically correct but sounds odd. But I favor senryu translations that read smoothly maybe more than others do, so maybe it’s not actually a real concern.