One of my favourite poets Ariwara-no-Narihira (825-880) was a
unique poet indeed. The compiler of Kokinshu, an anthology completed
in 913 criticized him saying "I AMARITE KOTOBA TARAZU--Too much
purport with insufficient words". Anyway, many of his poems give us an
impression that he was under the effect of marijuana or LSD. But the
literary bigwigs in Heian Period apparently did not rate these poems
highly. In "HYAKUNIN ISSHU--The Hundred Poems by One Hundred
Poets" the editor did not choose one from any of these poems but
included "CHIHAYABURU....." which is, in my opinion, not his greatest.
I do not have enough space here to explain these unique and amazing
poems that are, unfortunately, not very well known nowadays.
However, some contemporary Japanese may remember his famous dying
message--"TSUINI YUKU MICHITOWA KANETE KIKISHIKADO KINOU-KYOU
( I knew this would be the Path I must tread someday, but never dreamt
this would become the matter of yesterday or today)