The Mnemosyne Monthly: Poem Forty-Three (Shikibu)


This month’s Mnemosyne poem, by Izumi Shikibu, comes from The Ink Dark Moon and is translated by Jane Hirshfield, who I will interview this upcoming summer for Tiferet Talk. If you’re not familiar with her work, Izumi Shikibu is a mid Heian period Japanese poet and a member of the Thirty-six Medieval Poetry Immortals–a group of Japanese poets chosen by Fujiwara no Kintō as models of Japanese poetic ability. Because of her numerous affairs and marriages and the passionate nature of her writings, Izumi Shikibu became known as The Floating Lady. Enjoy …

In this world
love has no color
yet how deeply my body
is stained by yours.

–by Izumi Shikibu