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Saturday, 9 May 2009

Izumi Shikibu-"Love-soaked, rain-soaked"

Love-soaked, rain-soaked,
if people ask which drenched your sleeves
what will you say?
(Izumi Shikibu)

It's wild, windy & rainy here... i'm sure it's just a brief tempest in an otherwise sunny but breezy day. Apple blossom is being tossed by the wind & rain-soaked petals cling where they land... on the car, the walls, the grass... It was that "rain-soaked" phrase that made me think of this piece of calligraphy.

"Love-soaked, rain-soaked..." what an evocative image... that Japanese talent for saying so much in so few words. Considered one of the finest poets of her time, Izumi Shikibu(wiki ref) was born approx 930, there is no record of her death, though her last recorded correspondance was dated 1033. More of her writing is available here.

Daughter of a governor, a courtier, poet, some say politician too, married twice (some say thrice) several affairs... one independant lady! Reading more of her poetry, it dawned on me that this was written before Britain had even been invaded by the Normans- it certainly highlights the culture difference at that time.

Written in gouache with a folded ruling pen & brause nib, I used water colour to shade some areas to pick up on the idea of 'soaked sleeves'. Silver powder is just dropped into the wet ink to spread as it will & torn japanese tissue completes the effect- a sort of raw & ragged look, which is the feeling I sensed from the poem as she talks to her lover....


2 comments:

Mel said...

What an amazing piece of writing...from both of you...

~love~

Rose said...

I have tagged you with a nice little no obligation tag...

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