Being open

Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.

Izumi Shikibu c., 974 – 1034

The moon in Japanese poetry is always the moon; often it is also the image of awakening. This poem reminds that if a house is walled so tightly that it lets in no wind or rain, if a life is walled so tightly that it lets in no pain, grief, anger, or longing, it will also be closed to the entrance of what is most wanted.

Translation and commentary by Jane Hirshfield

2 thoughts on “Being open

  1. Dear Miriam,

    Thank you for your faithful reading and your comments. I would love to be able to give such a clarifying explanation but was delighted to find Jane Hirshfield’s words. The wisdom contained in some of these ancient texts is amazing. Best wishes, Karl

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