The Poetic Memoirs of Lady Daibu

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Stanford University Press, 1980 - Literary Criticism - 324 pages
"This is the first English translation of a set of memoirs covering almost 50 years in the life of a Japanese noblewoman in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Combining the qualities of a poetry collection and an autobiography, the work is structured around some 350 poems that focus on various incidents or remembrances. The work is of interest not only for its literary merit and its particularly evocative blend of prose and poetry, but also for its historical glimpses of the stirring events of the Genpei War, the subject of the great romantic war epic The Tale of the Heike. The memoirs tell of Lady Daibu's carefree young days at court, the death of her great love, Sukemori, in the war, and her enduring grief as she longs for her lover and times past. A special fascination of the work is its intimate views of famous persons who are known mostly through military tales or historical records. The introduction tells what we know of Lady Daibu's life and analyzes the intricate structure of the work, and appendixes describe its textual history." -- Publisher's description

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User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

What a remarkable lady - and so resilient and pithy in her verse! Her writing still has resonance. And yet she can be a bit austere and distant: "Here above the clouds, / Even the sight of people ... Read full review

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