Only Sixty-Five of Her Poems Exist

Below, a poem by Lady Horikawa, servant to retired Empress Taiken, whose husband ruled Japan from 1107-1123 (Piece is taken from the book Hokusai: One Hundred Poets, edited by Peter Morse and published by George Braziller.)

Editor’s Note: Although it seems very personal, this poem, we are told, was composed at the emperor’s request. It may or may not reflect the poet’s own experience.

If it be for aye

    That he wills our love should last?

Ah! I do not know!

    And this morn my anxious thoughts
    Like my black hair, are confused.

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