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“The Passion of Japanese Poetry”

#Haiku Happenings #9: Jane Kohut-Bartels’ shares her passion for #haikai!

Lady Nyo's Weblog

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Brave man like the catalpa bow

That, once drawn,

Does not slacken-

Can it be that he is unable to bear

The vicissitudes of love?

—-Anonymous

This is one of my favorite poems of the Man’yoshu. I used it as a heading in an episode of the  published “Song of the Nightingale”, where Lord Nyo frets as to his resolve and manhood. He finds himself, as the figure in the original poem, bewildered that he, ‘a strong man’ could find himself powerless to resist the invisible passion of love. He is more used to war and weapons, something tangible, not the chimera of love.

Lady Nyo  (the one today….)

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Life gives  such beauty and pain, sometimes in almost equal measures. I find solace in reading selections from the great Man’yoshu, this document from 8th century Japan. I have written here before about this great collection of over…

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