A book like a jewel - Ariake

Don't you cut the brush
Growing on the riverbank
High above Saho River;
Leave it as it is,
So when spring comes araound
We'll have a place to hide.

Lady Ôtomo of Sakanue

While I asked myself
Whether you might be coming
Or I might go there,
The hesitant moon appeared,
And I slept, the door unlocked.


More than the color
It is the fragrance I find
A source of delight.
Whose sleeve might have brushed against
The plum tree beside my house?


Pictures and poems are taken from the book Ariake - Poems of Love and Longing by the Women Courties of ancient Japan, San Francisco 2000. Illustrations by Rae Grant, foreword by Liza Dalby.

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