Tag Archives: Sei Shonagon

Sei Shonagon

I wrote this when I was reading The Pillow Book, a diary by Sei Shonagon. The Heian period (c. 800-1200 AD) is so weird, if you like history you should definitely look into it. A Heian lady actually wrote what is regarded as the first novel. They lived for poetry, and the only topic worth pursuing (aside from court gossip) was the beauty of nature.

Lady Murasaki writing, not Sei Shonagon at all

A woman

Sits at her writing desk

All grace and brightly layered robes.

Her hair is not like yours.

Her skin is thick with powder.

Her worries curve in a direction you cannot follow.

Even her moon is too new.

But while she watches this moon

White round face upturned

A small reflection of its object


Her heart is your heart.