This poem was composed in honor of His Royal Highness’s victory at Crown Tourney. In one of the most touching moments I’ve seen at an event, Sir Cellach called Lady Vukasin, who was unable to attend due to work, to let her know he had won Crown. This poem is an attempt to capture the poignancy of that moment: the joy and honor of being called upon for higher service, and the agony of being away from your loved one in that service. Japanese poetry is rife with examples of nobles being called away from their wives and lovers in duty to the Emperor, whether it is as a regional governor (equivalent to a landed baron) or as part of his retinue as he visits his various palaces. Another theme in Nara-era poetry is the despair of finding that birds have scattered the orange blossoms before they could be viewed with one’s lover (the blossom-viewing festival was originally for orange blossoms, but in Heian era shifted to cherry blossoms). Lady Vukasin wasn’t able to be invested as Crown Princess until Baronial Borader Wars, in mid-June, after the orange blossoms would have bloomed. The orange blossoms (and implicit reference to the birds that scattered them) are also a reference to HRH job as a park ranger.
The following photo was taken by Lady Kimiko, and is the image running through my mind while I was composing this poem. You can see the emotions I described, especially Her Majesty’s.
The form is waka, Japanese in origin with a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern of syllables. Event held 16th and 17th day of 4th month, AS XLVIII. This poem was composed for the Pentamere Pilgrimage Challenge, the ninth poem in the series; in addition, Calum has written an amusing take on his experiences at an event.