restricted access Love Song and Reply
Abstract

Abstract:

These poems are from the Gosen Wakashū, a major tenth-century anthology of Japanese poetry. Many of the waka in the collection are "dialogue poems," written in pairs by men and women of the court, speaking the cloaked language of secret love affairs, seductions, and laments. About half the poems in the Gosen Wakashū are anonymous. In the Heian Period and afterwards, poetry was a medium for expressing what could not be said face-to-face, the rules of social behavior discouraging such directness. The seeming cold-heartedness of the lady here was a convention of love poetry. The lady—in this case Ki no Menoto, writing to Fujiwara no Tadayuki—dismisses his ardors to enflame their passion. ED


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