Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

In the mountain village

my ears know only

the voice of the pines

 windless days

are lonely

Ōtagaki Rengetsu

From Ama no Karumo (The Fishergirl’s Seaweed). A tanka poet, Rengetsu was born in Kyoto in 1791 and died 1875, aged 84. Her four children all died young, and after she being widowed at 30 she became a Buddhist nun. As a means of livelihood she made pottery, a craft she had taught herself. The artistry of her work, as well as her many talents and her beauty, brought her great renown. He disliked visitors drawn only by vulgar curiosity, however. To find peace  and quiet, she moved about from place to place in the Kyoto area, living simply. The elegance of her unadorned style and the deep peace of poems leave a lasting impression.

山里はYamasato wa松の声のみききなれてmatsu no koe nomi kikinarete風ふかぬ日は寂しかりけりkaze fukanu hi wa sabishikarikeri

太田垣蓮月(おおたがきれんげつ)

『海女の刈藻』所収。寛政三年京都に生まれ、明治八年八十五歳で没した歌人。四人の子が皆早世し、夫も蓮月三十歳の時に死んだ。以後は尼となって、陶器を焼いて生計をたてたが、独習の焼き物の雅趣がかえって愛され、また多芸、美貌だったため、大いに名が喧伝された。しかし蓮月は好奇心で近づく俗客の訪問を嫌い、閑寂を求めて京都の各地を転々、簡素に暮らした。虚飾なく詠じた歌の調べは優雅で、しんとした静けさが印象的。