About Letters from Lady N

“Poets are not ideal beings; but have their prose-sides, like the commonest of the people.”

Hazlitt ‘On the Living Poets’

..and Lady Nakatomi? She wrote my favourite poem ‘Pearl Diver’. I’m not sure exactly who she was, but a bit of wikipedia research tells me as that she served her time as a high priestess of the Ise Shrine  around the 8th Century. The Saiō (unmarried female relative of the Emperor designated to the shrine) had a number of official functions but otherwise would spend her time composing Tanka verses, collect shells on the shore of Ōyodo beach, or set out in boats and recite poetry upon the water while waiting to be recalled to Kyoto.

I don’t know whether she wrote letters but I was impressed with the many years correspondance between Lorine Niedecker to her ex-lover Louis Zukofsky – about everything I’m sure -but it must have been a good way to air some thoughts, worries, interesting happenings in her inner world of poetry.

This is a difference kind of post but I think the modern equivalent of a poet writing from an idyllic kind of styx to.. you who are reading this.

One thought on “About Letters from Lady N

  1. Pingback: The Importance of Place II | Letters From Lady Nakatomi

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