Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Poetry for the Esbat: Corn Moon 2011

This Esbat I will be attending a very special women's Circle to recognize our good harvest (in its many forms) & celebrate the birthday of the Roman goddess Diana. Because of this, I wanted a Moon poem that featured women -- preferably women recognizing or venerating the Moon. I found the most fascinating website dedicated to to "Idiophonics" (Natural Sounds) in early Japanese women's poetry. The site features sublime poetry, accompanying sounds for each poem & discusses the "deepest thread in Japanese literature of what can be seen and what is obscured, what can be heard and that which is unheard, of sight and sound, the two always working together as "not two" to suggest the unity of yin and yang." Among the many diverse & beautiful pieces, I found a journal entry & accompanying poem by Michitsuna no Haha. The poet describes a moment in time under the Moon, a sound heard & shared by all who care to listen. As the site author states, "though the passer-by playing a flute cannot be seen outside on the big road, the music can still be cupped, like the light of the moon, free for all, inside." Reading this, it seemed to me there could be no more perfect choice for this Esbat's poem:

From the Diary of Michitsuna no Haha (Mother of Michitsuna) (fl. 954-974) from Kagero Diary, tr. by Sonja Arntzen, p. 187-189:

"In a pond in front of someone's house, the full moon of the
eighth month is reflected, as some women gaze at it, a person
playing a flute passes by on the big avenue outside the garden wall."

From beyond the clouds,
the voice of a bamboo flute,
approaches -- listening,
it seems the moon's reflection
is right here in our cupped hands.
Japanese shakuhachi flute
(wav, 397K)

More beautiful pieces can be found here: 
May your harvest be great & your blessings bountiful. If you can see the Lady Moon in her full splendor, please blow Her a kiss for me.

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