TANKA TAKE HOME: 29 september

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

hosts: Firdaus Parvez & Kala Ramesh


“Hana chirasu / haru no arashi wa / akikaze no / mi ni shimu yori mo / wabishi kari keri”

No bone-chilling

autumn wind

could pierce me

like this spring storm

scattering blossoms.

— Izumi Shikibu

“Comparison of the relative merits of the seasons—almost always spring and autumn—was one of the most time honored and frequent topics in classical Japanese literature; in this poem, Shikibu makes the case for spring. As always, one must consider what human events and feelings might correspond to the seasonal imagery.”

—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.)


How do seasons affect your mood? Bring a season to your poem and let it speak for itself.


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