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(Wikipedia.  Murasaki Shikibu portrait

Author: Kano Takanobu; )WalkerPlus)

 

When the letter came,

he did not let her see it.

It was pathetic,

but he saved the woman’s face;

she was a princess!

Murasaki was unique –

she should understand.

But why was he so nervous

if the other meant nothing?

Lady Hitachi

is the one he visits now.

No woman need fret:

she has a ginormous nose!

There is no competition.

 

(I have used Edward Seidensticker’s translation of

‘The Tale of Genji’ throughout.  I have taken his prose

and cut, paraphrased and transformed the material,

re-shaping it into chokas and tankas.  My intention was

to capture the spirit of the tale, but to return it to poetry

by using traditional Japanese forms.

Seidensticker made the work accessible to me, for which

I am indebted.)