Ono no Komachi

Like Ariwara no Narihira, the legends have eclipsed the historical Ono no Komachi. Her poetry dates from the period 833-857, and she seems to have engaged in poetic exchanges with contemporaries such as Fun’ya no Yasuhide, Archbishop Henjô and Ōshikōchi no Mitsune. The poetry itself is evidence of a passionate nature, and fed tales of her as a great beauty of her age. According to legend, she ended her days in penury, but the true facts will never be known.

Komachi is, perhaps, the earliest and best example of a passionate woman poet in the Japanese canon, outshining her contemporary Ise, and starting a tradition continued by Izumi Shikibu in a later age and Yosano Akiko in the modern one. She is also, perhaps, the most skilled user of kakekotoba of her time, and the writer of some of the most intense and accessible poetry in the canon.

On WakaPoetry.net, the following poems are by Komachi:

KKS II: 113
KKS XII: 552
KKS XII: 553
KKS XII: 554
KKS XII: 557
KKS XIII: 623
KKS XIII: 656
KKS XIII: 657
KKS XIII: 658
KKS XIV: 727
KKS XV: 782
KKS XV: 797
KKS XV: 822
KKS XVIII: 938
KKS XVIII: 939
KKS XIX: 1030
KKS XX: 1104
GSS XI: 779
GSS XV: 1090
GSS XVII: 1195
GSS XIX: 1360

'Simply moving and elegant'