TANKA TAKE HOME - 22 September 2021

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

hosts: Firdaus Parvez & Kala Ramesh


“Tsuma kouru / saoshika no ne ni / sayo hukete / waga katakoi o / ari to shirinuru”

Night deepens

with the sound

of a calling deer,

and I hear

my own one-sided love.

Ono no Komachi

“...Ono no Komachi, in particular, became the subject of legend almost from the time of her death. Little is known about her life, and the stories about her freely commingle historic fact and suppositions drawn from the poems...”


—The Ink Dark Moon - Love poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu.

Women of ancient Court of Japan.

Translated by Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani.

(This book has the English translation of poems by two great Japanese women tanka poets, Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu. It also has the original Japanese versions and if anyone wants to read how they have translated the verses we strongly recommend you buy the book. We can only post the tanka and probably a short excerpt. There’s a good portion of the book dedicated to the translation method.)

Tanka were usually love poems back then. The beauty of using nature to evoke emotions is so well done here. Most of us can, maybe, relate to this. How does this tanka make you feel? What nature scene can you come up with that touches upon your experience? Do share.

102 views23 comments