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Bardic Arts

Untitled

by
Makiwara no Yetsuko
(aka Jehanne de Wodeford)
April 18, 2004

Warned by a footfall
Behind the shielding shutters,
She adjusts her sleeves,
Displaying what grace she might
Though he cannot see her face.


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." -- Makiwara no Yetsuko


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