Saturday, June 02, 2007

Japanese Court Poets 1

Links to poems at 2001 Waka (as are the comments here)

one of Japan's greatest, and most appealing, poets, whose work still has a resonance for us today, though Hitomaro the man has been lost in the mists of the distant past.

He is still reckoned as being one of the Man'yôshû's great poets, however, being unafraid to experiment with the form and introduce elements learned from his time in China.

Today, he is reckoned to be one of the four great Man'yô poets and admired for the Shintô-influenced of his work.

As the compiler of the Man'yôshû, Ôtomo no Yakamochi (ca. 716 - 785) is possibly the most important literary figure of his day. He has 46 nagauta and 432 tanka in the anthology, comprising over ten per cent of its contents.

Komachi is, perhaps, the earliest and best example of a passionate woman poet in the Japanese canon, outshining her contemporary Ise, ... and the writer of some of the most intense and accessible poetry in the canon.

an historical personage has become so confused with the legends surrounding him that little can be said of the circumstances of his life with any certainty. he often expresses a great number of ideas in the few words of a tanka - making his poetry some of the most difficult to interpret in the classical canon.

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