Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Briefly I slept
and saw
the one I love
Now I place my faith
in this thing called dreams

Ono no Komachi

Kokinshū, Book Ⅻ, Love 2. Komachi is considered one of the Six Poetic Immortals and an example of the misfortunes that beauty can bring. But in fact little is known of her life; the only records we have are her poignant and beautiful poems. Book Ⅻ of the Kokinshū begin with three poems by Komachi, of which this is one. All three are about brief dreams; doubtless the compilers planned this consciously. Komachi alludes to the then-popular belief that dreaming of the person you loved meant that he or she desired you. The poem’s undercurrent is a lament that although she once met her lover in a dream, now he never comes, not even in dreams.

うたたね(Utatane)(ni)
恋しき(koishiki)(hito)(wo)
見てし(miteshi)より(yori)
(Yume)てふ(chō)もの(mono)(wa)
たのみ(tanomi)そめてき(someteki)

小野小町(おののこまち)

『古今集』巻十二恋二。六歌仙の一人で美人薄命の代表とされるが、実際の詳しい伝は不明。哀切優艶な実作を通じて面影をしのぶほかない。『古今集』巻十二冒頭に三首並ぶ小町作の歌の一つ。三首ともはかない夢の歌であるのは、編者たちの意識的なはからいだったろう。恋しい人を夢で見る時は実は相手がこちらを思っているからだ、という当時の俗信を踏まえ、一度は夢で逢えたのに、その後はたえて夢でさえ逢えない、という悲しみを余情としている。