Wednesday, 10 March 2010


“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” - Mark Twain

A very full day (and evening!) today, so for Poetry Wednesday, a Ko-Uta or “Little Song” of the Japanese Geishas. These marvelously lyrical songs are sung by the geishas while they accompany themselves on the shamisen (a three-stringed, fretless, long necked, banjo-like instument). They are called little songs as most of them take a minute to be performed, none being longer than three or four minutes long. The singer and shamisen take two different threads of melody and wind them around each other to give a harmonious whole.

This Ko-Uta is dedicated to all my northern hemisphere friends who are awaiting spring:

A Single Plum Blossom

A single plum blossom, then another
Opening one by one,
And the first plaintive notes
Of the bush warbler’s song,
Harbingers of the coming spring.
To tell the truth,
They only make me long
To see you again…

And in Japanese:

Ume ichirin
Ichirin zutsu ni
Uguisu no
Utai some soro
Haru no keshiki mo
Totonou mama ni
Jitsu wa aitaku
Natta no sa

Jacqui BB hosts Poetry Wednesday


  1. its like a long haiku sort of

  2. An interesting link:

    There are four seasonal recordings of Ko-Uta you can listen to at the bottom of the page.