Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Peony petals fall,

Pile up__

Two or three

YosaBuson

From Buson Kushū. The effect of the poem as a whole makes one want to read the third character as chitte. Even so, chitte has its own attractions. The  Chinese called the peony, with its large blossoms, the emperor of flowers; and from the 17th century on, the Japanese cultivated it devotedly as an ornamental flower. The firmness with which he writes uchikasanaru / nisanpen(pile up― / two or three) is the mark of craft. It captures perfectry both aspects of the fallen petals ― their heroic purity and their sensual charm.

牡丹散てbotan chirite打ちかさなりぬuchi-kasanarinu二三片ni san pen

与謝蕪村(よさぶそん)

『蕪村句集』所収。「散て」は、句から受ける印象からするとチッテと読みたいところだが、蕪村自身はある手紙の中で「ちりて」と書いている。だがチッテも捨て難い。中国では花の王とまで称えられる大輪の牡丹は、日本でも江戸前期から盛んに栽培鑑賞された。この句、散り敷いた花びらを「打ちかさなりぬ二三片」と読みすえた所が手練の技。散った花のいさぎよさ、反面の濃艶な色香、その両面をひたと取り押さえているからだ。