Ono no Komachi
Very little is known about this Japanese poetess, and most of it is legendary. She lived around 850 C.E. (b. 834?) during the Heian period. The story about her is that she was a woman of unparallelled beauty in her youth and enjoyed the attention of many suitors. She was, however, haughty and cruel, breaking many hearts. What is certain about her, however, is that she was a major poet. I have sometimes commented on certain poems because the variations in translation are bewildering --- often changing the meaning of the original completely. KKS:1030 (Miscellaneous Forms) On such a night as this When no moon lights your way to me, I wake, my passion blazing, My breast a fire raging, exploding flame While within me my heart chars. KKS:113, OHI:9 (Spring) The flowers withered Their color faded away While meaninglessly I spent my days in the world And the long rains were falling. KKS:797 (Love) A thing which fades With no outward sign Is the flower Of the heart of man In this world!
Related: Books and poetry