Essay on Izumi Shikibu Nikki, by Izumi Shikibu

1289 Words 6 Pages
Poetry plays a vital role in the Heian period narrative prose, Izumi Shikibu Nikki, written by Izumi Shikibu. This is evident not only by the large number of poems written, but also through the context of the poems, which characterize and reveal the feelings and desires of the two main characters. The poems are very private exchanges between the Prince and the lady, who is believed to be Izumi Shikibu herself. Because they are so personal, readers may connect to the diary on a deeper level. Without poetry, this piece of literature would be incomplete and probably not nearly as valuable as it is considered to be today. By simply glancing through the Izumi Shikibu Nikki, one may conclude that poetry plays an important role in the …show more content…
The feelings expressed are all very strong and passionate. Due to the fact that many of the poems are overflowing with emotion, the Prince, Izumi, and their relationship are characterized through the poems. Izumi composes a poem, “Imagine then, compare / What one must feel whose days / Drag on and on in idle melancholy” (133), which reveals that she is gloomy day in and day out. Her later poems mention piety, temptation, and path, which show the influence of Buddhism in her life. Another poem she writes shows the meaningful connection she has with the Prince: “Perhaps because we share / A bond with him who is no more” (136). Aside from being lovers, they share a special connection in a different way. The fact that Izumi was once the lover of the Prince’s half-brother might have made it easier for Izumi to grow close to the Prince. Poems that characterize the Prince are seasonal pieces he composed amidst all the rain. The metaphorical poems reveal that he is very elegant and conscious of the seasons and the appropriateness of writing during such times. He is truly a Prince of the Heian period, when everything was about miyabi. Because the poems convey the intense emotions of the Prince and Izumi, readers may better

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