four poems of Izumi Shikibu

Translated by Christopher Mulrooney

Sent to the reverend priest Shôku

darkness departing
darkness still deeper to walk
shine bright on the way
ahead of me o blesséd
upon the mountain rim moon

the pillowing arm
its sleeve carries the frost too
fallen everywhere
looking in the morning light
I behold it white as hemp

Sent to a personage during my illness

near nonexistent
I would have you beside me
now if only once
to have the memory live
as I go off from the world

lying down alone
I am so lost missing you
that I've forgotten
all my tangled long black hair
desiring who unbound it

E-mail Christopher

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