The Ink Dark Moon – Review

I was browsing through my LinkedIn profile to update details and noted that I am months behind on reviews of books I have read. I will post some old and new reviews on this site under the category Book Babbles…

The Ink Dark Moon edited by Jane Hirschfeld and Mariko Aratani is one the best books I have read in  a long time. Here is what I wrote last year about the book for my LinkedIn review:

Comment: “I have a book that I want to carry with me everywhere, to dip into now and again… These love poems were written about 1000 years ago by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikubu, women courtiers in Imperial Japan, and translated by Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Aratani. Hirshfield explains some of the process of translation in an Appendix – an explanation so interesting that I have bought another of her books on poetry (“Nine Gates” – essays on poetry). She also provides some notes on many of the poems to put them into context not clear in the poems themselves. This collections of poems is exquisite. Here is a favorite (on page 51):
In this world
love has no color-
yet how deeply
my body
is stained by yours

The poems are small gems of precise imagery, sometimes lush, sometimes sparse. They are all love poems, so if reading poetry does not turn you on as much as engineering texts, I would avoid the book… But I (who also enjoy the odd engineering book now and again) am inspired by the poems so much that –

I wish I could –
write words
gathered and framed
to touch the soul
of others”

About Ed Medley

Ed Medley has been on a random walk for over 40 years. Many scribbles and snapshots at this site are from his vagabond transits; others are from his 40 years of international experience in geological and geotechnical engineering, academia, and mineral exploration prospecting.
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