Friday, May 28, 2010

Poetry Friday: Izumi Shikibu

During my National Poetry Month online travels, I was delighted to stumble across a poem from a Japanese poet named Izumi Shikibu. I conducted a little background check and found that she has a fascinating biography.

Her story reminded me of Romeo and Juliet in that Shikibu had a bit of a love triangle going on in her life. She was married to a provincial official and fell in love with the stepson of the empress, Prince Atsumichi. Much of Shikibu's poetry revolves around the passionate love affair with this Prince.

I can picture Juliet writing to Romeo with a similar passion. I'm pretty sure that Juliet would not be able to limit her poems to a mere five lines, as she does not show the restraint that Shikibu using in creating her poems.

Today, we read four of Shikibu's poems, discussed them, and then you all wrote two of your own using Shikibu's structure and flavor. I asked that you write one that relates to Romeo and Juliet and one free choice. Some of you chose to write another R & J poem, while others chose to write many more than two poems. Here are some pictures of your poems on sticky notes. We'll use these later for a blog post.

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