No.9 Vanity Of Vanities

Ono No Komachi in a drawing from 1648

9th century. Komachi was famous for her poetry and beauty, and Komachi is a synonym for beauty in Japan today. She is one of the Rokkasen – the six best Waka poets of the Heian period. She is also one of five female poets belonging to the Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry.

Vanity Of Vanities

Color of the flower  
  Has already passed away  
While on trivial things  
  Vainly I have set my gaze,  
  In my journey through the world.

Ono no Komachi (Komachi of Ono)

Hana no iro wa  
 Utsuri ni keri na  
Itazura ni  
 Waga mi yo ni furu  
 Nagame seshi ma ni.

About this poetry

At Salty Dog Digital we’ve decided to gradually republish Clay MacCauley’s translation of Single Songs of a Hundred Poets – a collection of japanese poetry from the seventh through thirteenth centuries. Sixty four of these poems are the rewards in our game fourtex zen.

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Kibbles counter and marketer! Louise makes sure the paperwork eventually gets done.