Sorry for the lengthy hiatus everyone. Been a long couple of weeks, but I am excited to post this poem in honor of women poets this month, and timely because of the coming of spring:
|いにしへの||Inishie no||The eight-petalled cherries|
|奈良の都の||Nara no miyako no||from the Nara capital|
|八重桜||Yae-zakura||of the ancient past|
|今日九重に||Kyo kokonoe ni||today nine layers thick|
|匂ひぬるかな||Nioi nuru kana||have bloomed within your court!|
Lady Ise no Tayū, was another lady in waiting for Empress Shoshi, as was Lady Murasaki (poem 57) and Lady Izumi (poem 56), but was the newbie apparently.
According to Lady Ise no Tayū’s own diary, she had to present a poem on the fly to the Bishop from the ancient capital of Nara and its Buddhist institutions, who had brought a lovely eight-petaled cherry blossom as a gift. Empress Shoshi’s father, Fujiwara no Michinaga, had asked Lady Murasaki to do it, but she deferred to Lady Ise no Tayū because she was new.
Thankfully, her poem was a success. As Professor Mostow notes, it does a really nice job balancing the “ancient” with the modern, and the eight petals of the blossom with the metaphorical nine-layers of the Imperial court.
No wonder she made the inner-circle of Empress Shoshi. 🙂
Happy Spring everyone!
P.S. Nara is a pretty awesome place to visit in Japan, definitely recommend.
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