- Firstly, I stumbled over a copy of this nice little collection of Japanese love poems at one of the local used book-stores this morning: [i]Only Companion: Japanese Poems of Love and Longing[/i], translated by Sam Hamill.
Poems are presented in English and Romaji, so the reader can get a sense of what the original Japanese sounds like. An appendix with brief biographical notes identifies the poets.
The good news is that it's still in print and very reasonably priced. [url]http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isbn/978-0-87773-647-9.cfm%5b/url]
Here's a sample by Izumi Shikibu:
My black hair tangled
As my own tangled thoughts,
I lie here alone,
Dreaming of one who has gone,
Who stroked my hair till it shone.
hiso zo koishiki[/i]. (p. 49)
Well worth searching out if you're a poetry fan.
Secondly, the semi-annual Tanka Challenge begins over on the Tousando forum starting November 1. http://tousando.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=research&action=display&thread=3851
I started doing these in 2008, partly as a reaction against the excesses of NANOWRIMO, but mostly as a way of practicing (and hopefully improving) my poetry writing.
Saionji no Hana