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Bardic Arts

Wakas for Twelfth Night

Makiwara no Yetsuko
(aka Jehanne de Wodeford)
December 18, 2002 (A.S. XXXVII)

Like pine branches seen
Through robes of new fallen snow
You see my true guise.
Pray keep my secret, O Friend,
That others may be surprised.

Like a dying leaf
Tossed by winter winds' caprice
The wanderer thinks
'O where shall this errant wind
Let my soul alight at last?'

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. " -- Jehanne de Wodeford

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