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Poetic Engagement with Afghanistan, Caucasus and Iran (Part #9)

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Presented in an annex with the following sections:

Relevant strategic implications of Japanese warlord poetry
(Sengoku-jidia, 1467-1600)

When Japan was churning in continuous, contagious arson and killing among warlords from the 16th century onwards, there were three samurai leaders who would lay the foundations for modern Japan today -- the first whose vision of the country was of one nation-state. They were to rule Japan in succession.

The three samurai leaders tried to unify the country: Nobunaga was known for his cruelty, Hideyoshi for his impetuosity, Tokugawa for his patience. A poetic parable (now learnt by all Japanese school children) was told about them.

There was a little bird who wouldn't sing, they were asked by a Zen master what they would do::

Nobunaga said, "little bird, if you won't sing, I'll kill you"
Hideyoshi said, "little bird, if you won't sing, I'll make you sing"
Tokugawa said, "little bird, if you won't sing, I'll wait for you to sing."

Tokugawa became Shogun (leader of Japan) in 1603, and his dynasty ruled until 1867.

Voices above the chaos: female war poets from the Middle East
(Ed Vulliamy, The Observer, 4 September 2016)
And it comes in the verses of two female poets, part of an emergent school of verse, much of it written by women: Bejan Matur and Maram al-Masri -- Kurdish and Syrian respectively. Matur and Masri are the two most illustrious and cogent of this new generation of female poets; their verse combines to create a devastating but richly composed verbal landscape that it is at once epic and intensely human. Raw and lyrical, of the moment but seeped in the memories of their people, immediate and for ever.