The Ink Dark Moon

Love Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan

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One thousand years ago the Heian court of Imperial Japan was one of the most sophisticated cultures on earth. The literature of that classical age is the only one in which the predominant geniuses were women; among the foremost were the two translated in this volume. Ranging from the deeply erotic to the profoundly spiritual, the poems of Ono no Komachi (ca. 850) and Izumi Shikibu (974?--1034?) served sometimes as intimate exchanges between lovers, other times to record the most private emotional and spiritual concerns of these accomplished and passionate women. Elegant, sensual, insightful, and piercingly lovely, the poems in The Ink Dark Moon speak to us from the distant past with an immediacy that brings us to a deepened experience of the present. Translated by Jane Hirschfield and Mariko Aratani.

"Sheer pleasure...By filtering the warm wash of classical Japanese prosody [Hirschfield and Aratani] have arrived at seemingly effortless transparencies...I have looked at many translations of these poets, but few or none as fine as these."--Edwin A. Cranston, Harvard University, in The Journal of Asian Studies
Ono no Komachi was a Japanese poet, known as one of the best waka poets of the early Heian period. She ranks as one of the 36 Poetry Immortals of Japan. In addition to her art, she was known for her great beauty. Her name, Komachi, is often used to describe beauty in her native Japan. View titles by Ono no Komachi
Izumi Shikibu was a Japanese poet, born around 976 AD. She is considered by many scholars and literary critics to have been the greatest woman poet of the Heian period. View titles by Izumi Shikibu

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One thousand years ago the Heian court of Imperial Japan was one of the most sophisticated cultures on earth. The literature of that classical age is the only one in which the predominant geniuses were women; among the foremost were the two translated in this volume. Ranging from the deeply erotic to the profoundly spiritual, the poems of Ono no Komachi (ca. 850) and Izumi Shikibu (974?--1034?) served sometimes as intimate exchanges between lovers, other times to record the most private emotional and spiritual concerns of these accomplished and passionate women. Elegant, sensual, insightful, and piercingly lovely, the poems in The Ink Dark Moon speak to us from the distant past with an immediacy that brings us to a deepened experience of the present. Translated by Jane Hirschfield and Mariko Aratani.

"Sheer pleasure...By filtering the warm wash of classical Japanese prosody [Hirschfield and Aratani] have arrived at seemingly effortless transparencies...I have looked at many translations of these poets, but few or none as fine as these."--Edwin A. Cranston, Harvard University, in The Journal of Asian Studies

Author

Ono no Komachi was a Japanese poet, known as one of the best waka poets of the early Heian period. She ranks as one of the 36 Poetry Immortals of Japan. In addition to her art, she was known for her great beauty. Her name, Komachi, is often used to describe beauty in her native Japan. View titles by Ono no Komachi
Izumi Shikibu was a Japanese poet, born around 976 AD. She is considered by many scholars and literary critics to have been the greatest woman poet of the Heian period. View titles by Izumi Shikibu

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