June 13th 2016

····slipping into the cracks of an early morning
Far Beyond the FieldI was cleaning out books that I haven’t read in years, and found one book I’d forgotten—Haiku by Japanese Women: Far Beyond the Field. I love the book and will read it again. All the most widely read Japanese women hakuists are represented along with short biographies. Despite the brevity of the haiku, there’s a very different sensibility to these poems. One of my favorites by the earliest poet represented, Den Sutejo (a near exact contemporary of Basho):
getting used
to hardship—a bride-grass
in the snow
The note to this haiku:
  • A play on the word bride-grass, which is a species of wild chrysanthemum. In modern Japan, a married woman usually lived with her husband’s parents, whom she was expected to serve with the utmost reverence and loyalty. Here, the new bride is beginning to experience the chill of these obligations as the marriage, like winter, sets in.
220 June 13th 2016 | bottlecap

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