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Ode To Murasaki Shikibu



Ode to Milady:
Compelled I am by your shade.
To write about you.
Murasaki Shikibu.
About your “Tale of Genji.”

Your “Tale of Genji.”
Prosaic — with much beauty.
Compelling the lines.
Lyrically waka style.
The plot intriguingly made.

Your style, your art craft.
Of eleventh century.
Is strikingly rich.
Depicting life and manners.
Of Japanese courtiers.

While there are several.
Genji is protagonist.
He is leading star.
His dalliances many.
His appetite no limits.

How banal is it.
That he should fall, and yet rise.
Again and again.
Certainly a masterpiece.
And with brilliance driven!

Written as novel.
This masterpiece is novel.
A tale of intrigue.
A psychological tale.
It holds its readers breathless.

Tale of Emperors.
And a tale of Empresses.
Tale of courtiers.
An old tale that remains fresh.
That’s sustained with mysteries.

“The Tale of Genji.”
Its ending, too, is mystery.
How Fate intervenes.
But this is a Buddhist tale.
And all actions are karmic.

Dear Murasaki.
I’ve tried to write a poem.
As an ode to you.
Composing it waka style.
The style you popularized.

With karmic message.
Your shade compelled me to write.
And so I’ve answered.
Delivering this poem.
And to put your shade to rest.

About this poem

This 5-line, 10-stanza Waka poem is written as a companion poem to another poem of mine, “A Senryu Tale of Genji,” to honor the legacy of Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese poet of the early eleventh century who, as a Lady-in-Attendance at the Japanese Court, wrote an imaginative lengthy fiction , “A Tale of Genji (circa 1010), that incorporates some 800 Waka courtly poems, and is recognized worldwide as a masterpiece psychological novel of creative art, the first of its kind in all times. This poem combines ten waka poems to constitute a whole, and to pay tribute to the lasting legacy of Murasaki Shikibu. 

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Written on February 02, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on February 02, 2022

1:18 min read
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Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

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"Ode To Murasaki Shikibu" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 29 Jun 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/119013/ode-to-murasaki-shikibu>.

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