Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lady Ise

"Lady Ise" is a new poem just out in Books and Culture Magazine (print and online)... The two lines in quotes are a translation from one of her poems. If you're interested in my poetry, please take a look. (There's also a place to leave comments, should you be so inspired.)

I was not thinking of this image--"Hatsuhana doing penance under the Tonosawa waterfall"--by Japanese ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川 国芳, January 1, 1797-April 14, 1862), but was pleased to find it just now. I intended to use one of the wonderful Hokusai waterfall images from the series Shokoku taki meguri ("Journey to the Waterfalls in All the Provinces"), circa 1832, but think this one a grand fit.

And here is a tiny biography of Lady Ise, along with translations of nine of her poems. They include the "hidden immortal"lines quoted in my poem.

Kisoji no oku Amida ga taki by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
("Amida Waterfall on the Kiso Road")