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Showing 1-10 of 32 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 47 reviews
I have a passion for all kinds of poetry but my favorite poetic forms have been the Asian variety from China and Japan. I have also read and wrote reviews of numerous volumes of Asian poetry. This unique collection (The Ink Dark Moon: Love poems by Ono No Komachi and Izumi Shikibu women of the ancient court of Japan translated by Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani) of Japanese love poems are just fantastic and beautiful.

The ancient Heian court of imperial Japan was one of the most culturally advanced societies at that time. Women played an important part of this cultural enlightenment, writing some of the most profound poetry and stories at that time. These poems provide an insight into the love thoughts between lovers among the Heian elite. The emotional feelings come out in these poems in a clear and concise way which is a pure joy to read.

This is a classic that lovers of Japanese poetry will want to have in their personal collection. I was moved by the pure beauty of these poems written with emotional experiences and intellectual wit of these two ladies of the court.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy haiku)
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on December 18, 2014
Many Americans are aware of the Japanese verse form known as Haiku. Fewer know about Tanka, which was used by many classic poets including the two featured in this extraordinary book, both founding figures of Japanese literature. Since I do not read Japanese, I cannot evaluate the translations in comparison to the originals, yet a wonderful essay demonstrates both the challenges the translator faces and the sensitivity brought to these readings. This book opened a new world in literature to me. I recommend it highly.
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on April 3, 2017
Beautiful book of poems that are stunning and excellent examples of Japanese writing. The translations are very strong, and they are surprisingly relevant and hold up today. I highly recommend this book!
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on December 19, 2013
Not only does Jane Hirshfield do an insanely talented job of translating (about which you can read an entire explanation of her process at the end of the collection), but Komachi and Shikibu have written poems that have transcended space and time and will leave you deeply moved by their beauty and simplicity, again and again. It's rare to find such revered women writers as these women were in their era (this book also includes a very interesting introduction on the historical and social context of these writers). A must have for poetry lovers.
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on April 9, 2015
This is an excellent translation of poetry written by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shibiku both ladies of the royal Japanese court in the 9th and 11th centuries. I found their poetry to be both dramatic and entertaining and each time i turn that last page i wish there was more.
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on January 18, 2013
The Ink Dark Moon, translated by Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani has been around for a while. It was first copyrighted in 1986 and the poems inside it were written centuries ago by primarily two women of the ancient court of Japan -- Ono no Komachi (834?-?) and Izumi Shikibu (974? - 1034?) Each is a love poem originally written in the tanka style of 5-7-5-7-7.
The poems are timeless and speak to the hearts of lovers everywhere.
I enjoyed this book the first time I read it and then purchased a copy for my personal library.
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on February 23, 2014
I received this book, well wrapped, and exactly in the condition advertised. It's a deeply moving example of Japanese poetry which I believe anybody would like. It is about 1500 years old and feels like it was written only yesterday. The heart writes itself, I suppose, no matter when or where.
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on May 25, 2015
One of my favorite collections of poems. The translation is wonderfully done! The poems in this collection always transport me to a different place! Great read!
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on October 22, 2015
Wonderful love poems from an ancient time, given an accessible modern sensibility.
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on September 4, 2015
Whatever the poems are in their original language, they are beautiful in this translation.
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