Saturday, March 24, 2012

the one close to me now

The one close to me now,
even my own body -
these too
will soon become clouds,
floating in different directions.

~ Izumi Shikibu
from The Ink Dark Moon
translation by Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Aratani

Onono Komachi and Izumi Shikibu were both Japanese poets of the Heian Period. 
 The arts of the Heian Period are marked with a definite feminine sensibility. 
Because the Chinese characters (which were used in writing Japanese) 
were seen as inappropriate to women, 
they developed a simplified and elegant style of writing/calligraphy 
that became known as Hiragana or "onna de"... "feminine hand". 

~ comments from the literature network