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 Henjō 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: