Posts Tagged ‘era’

Ono no Komachi (834?-?)

January 21, 2010

Ono no Komachi

Komachi was one of the pillars of Japanese Heian era poetry. She served in the court in the capitol city of Heian-kyo (present day Kyoto).

Komachi’s poetry was extremely passionate, deeply subjective and complex.  She was  of a poetical society that  developed the form with  philosophical and emotional depth.

My study of Komachi is just beginning and it’s  better we allow her words to lead us into her world.

Lady Nyo

Ono No Komachi

Did he appear

because I fell asleep

thinking of him?

If only I’d known I was dreaming,

I’d never have wakened.


When my desire

grows too fierce

I wear my bed clothes

inside out,

dark as the night’s rough husk.


No way to see him

on this moonless night–

I lie awake longing, burning,

breasts racing fire,

heart in flames.


Though I go to him constantly on the paths of dream,

never resting my feet,

in the real world

it doesn’t equal a single glance.


The cicadas sing

in the twilight

of my mountain village–

tonight, no one

will visit save the wind.

—-From “The Ink Dark Moon”, Hirshfield and Aratani

%d bloggers like this: