Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

I wait and wait, an evening primrose

pining, fading―but he does not come

and even the moon does not appear.

Takehisa Yumeji

The first of the sixteen poems called “Daughters of Japan" in Takehisa's poetry collection of 1913, Dontaku. Yoimachigusa literally “evening-waiting grass,” is another name for ōmatsuyoigusa, a yellow flower which opens on summer evenings and fades away in the morning; it is also commonly known as tsukimisō, “moon-viewing grass.” The flower’s name expresses the emotions of a woman tired from waiting at night for her lover. The poem itself is the sort of pathetic feminine sigh that Yumeji liked. Its three lines were a successful rewriting of an original eight line poem which included the lines “Evening primrose heart uneasy / I told myself not to think of him but / in spite of that, these brimming tears.” (…Yoimachigusa no kokoromotonaki / omoumai to wa omoedomo / ware to shi mo naki tamenamida). Made into a song, it achieved great popularity and is still well-known.




竹久夢二(たけひさ ゆめじ)