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Bardic Arts

For Date Saburo Yukiie

Makiwara no Yetsuko
(aka Jehanne de Wodeford)
September 23, 2004

Blushing, the maples
Bow and sway in autumn's breeze
Like dancing maidens,
Giddy at the merest thought
That they are so much admired.

Copyright ©2004 Lisa A. Joseph

"Waka, also known as tanka or uta is the ancestor of haiku. In my research on the arts of Heian Japan, I learned that this form was used for contests, in which one person might start the first three lines and others had to come up with the last two, or one poem must be answered by a new one. Lovers frequently sent messages using this poetic form, often using imagery from nature. As a courtly entertainment, it is extremely well suited to spur-of-the moment topics, in fact, several of the poems below were written in response to topical challenges. I have included the occasional note to provide context."

"September 23, 2004, part of a poetry trade on the SCA-JML e-list. We've never actually met, but Date-dono is only one of many courtly poets on the list with whom I've exchanged a flirtatious waka." -- Makiwara no Yetsuko

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