Poem: ‘Conversation with Murasaki’
The full text of this poem is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.
You are not logged in
Murasaki Shikibu was the 11th-century author of The Tale of Genji, which contains almost a thousand classical verses. Sei Shonagon was her contemporary and the author of The Pillow Book.
Koto: a zither-like instrument
Waka: classical verses
Mono no aware: ‘the pitiful transience of existence’
Ambitabha: the Buddha of the Western Paradise or Pure Land
Hokku: 17-syllable verse