two cranes

Things I Want Decided

Which shouldn’t exist

in this world,

the one who forgets

or the one

who is forgotten?

Izumi  Shikibu ( 970 ?- 1030?)is a Japanese poet who composed tanka.  Tanka is a poem form older than haiku. It is composed of five units following the pattern5-7-5-7-7. Tanka was used in courtship between men and women. These poems written over one thousand years ago continue to speak to universal truths of the human condition. I discovered the beautiful art of tanka through the book-The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Onono Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan translated by Jane Hirshfield with Mariku Aratani.