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    So I chose saigyo, the name of the priest who wrote the poem I used in my domain name, as the login for something or other at some point in configuring my site preferences (or preferring my site configurations, or whatever tech people call it). Now it’s my default e-mail user ID, which is not what I had in mind, but until I can figure out how to fix it, that’s the address I have here (most of you who might see this know me through e-mail at my Hotmail address, anyway, which of course can still be used freely).

    As long as I’m misappropriating a major name in Japanese literature as my username, why not spread the pretentiousness around? Another of my favorite poets is Akiko Yosano, who wrote a century ago. At her best, she’s so sexy you can’t stand it:



    yawa hada no / atsuki chishio ni / fure mo mide / sabishikarazu ya / michi wo toku kimi
    Yosano Akiko

    Having never felt
    the hot tide of blood that throbs
    beneath this soft skin
    even you who seek the Way
    must know what you are missing
    –Akiko Yosano

    I can’t seem to get my English to surge and sweep forward between caesuras the way her Japanese does–Japanese poems have a reputation for stillness and contemplation, but Akiko is often all sensual force coming at you. The fact that tanka are usually printed in one vertical line down the page accentuates the effect. She also married another of the brashly innovative poets of her age. His talent dried up early, so she spent the rest of her life bearing about a hundred of his children and making money to move them around the world to try to get his muse talking to him again. A fascinating woman.

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