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
奈良の都の Nara no miyako no
今日九重に Kyo kokonoe ni
匂ひぬるかな nioi nuru kana
Which Professor Mostow translates as:
The eight-petalled cherries
from the Nara capital
of the ancient past
today nine layers thick
have bloomed within your court!
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. Photo was taken by me when I visited Nara in 2010 in the spring.