Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The important 1 (multiplicative identity)

On this day 12/12/12, I have heard much media discussion concerning coincidences of number.  My own thoughts continue to examine the multiple meanings of "identity."  Here is a lovely tanka by Izumi Shikibu (b 976?) that focuses on the importance of one:

       This heart,
       longing for you,
       to a thousand pieces--
       I wouldn't lose one.

From The Ink Dark Moon:  Love Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan (Vintage Books, 1990), translated by Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani

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