Years ago, I fell in love with Izumi Shikibu’s poetry. I am not the kind of guy who falls in love with poets. Most poetry, to me, is like modern art. I’m glad it exists, but I don’t need it in my house.
Shikibu was different from the first five lines I read. I fell for her, completely. She was fast and sexy, delicate and direct at the same time. …and she wrote over a thousand years ago. I still have my first copy of The Ink Dark Moon, from more than 20 years ago, which came before all those others I gave as gifts to anyone I thought would read it.
Even so, I haven’t read her stuff in a long while. I don’t think about obscure Japanese court poetry all that much.
Then, up she pops, completely unexpectedly, in an RSS feed, and she knocks the breath from my chest all over again.
Even if I now saw you
I would long for you
– Izumi Shikibu (c.974)