WARNING: a site called “JP at Olive Garden” has just posted two of my poems and the introduction of “Song of the Nightingale” WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. What is worse is that some person named Kora Davishen has ‘rewritten’ my poem “Storm Drain Baby”….and of course, gutting it. THIS IS WRONG AND UNWORTHY OF A POETRY SITE. What is worse is this is unethical and illegal. It violates copyright laws. I demand that “JP at Olive Garden” take down my work and do not do this again. I was warned years ago that “JP at Olive Garden” steals other poets work and posts it on their site, but I didn’t know they also REWRITE and brag about it. I call upon poets to avoid this site for their Unethical and Illegal behavior. Rewriting a poem is nothing but stealing and business unworthy of real poets. Other poets have contacted me and they also have had, over the years, some of the same issues with this site (and their constantly changing names). They do this to make it look like they have more followers than they actually have. They are NOT poets; they are just opportunists looking to suck off the labor of real poets. I have made the appropriate forms out to alert BLOGGER about their behavior. Hopefully, they will take action to ban this energy sucker website from the internet.
August 22, 2016
A year ago ( July, 2015) I published “Song of the Nightingale” with Amazon.com. This book came out of a 10 year study of medieval Japanese culture. Most importantly, a study of the great 8th century document, “The Man’yoshu”. This document was a collection of 4,515 poems, written by emperors, priests, women poets, court people, samurai, and included songs of fishermen and peasants. Some of the verse in this document inspired the action of the two main characters, Lord and Lady Nyo, a fictional samurai couple from the 17th century Japan. Nick Nicholson, from Canberra, Australia, a marvelous writer and photographer, an a friend of over a decade, not only formatted the book but also lent his beautiful photos. It was a labor of love for both of us, and I have decided to post on this blog a number of the episodes. The cover was painted by me, and there are other paintings in this book, along with Nick’s photos.
Jane Kohut-Bartels who is the Lady Nyo of this blog.
Introduction to ” Song of the Nightingale”
In Old Japan there was an even older daimyo called Lord Mori who lived in the shadow of Moon Mountain, far up in the Northwest of Japan. Lord Mori ran a court that did little except keep his men (and himself) entertained with drinking, hawking and hunting. Affairs of state were loosely examined and paperwork generally lost, misplaced under a writing table or under a pile of something more entertaining to his Lordship. Sometimes even under the robes of a young courtesan.
Every other year the Emperor in Edo would demand all the daimyos travel to his court for an extended visit. This was a clever idea of the honorable Emperor. It kept them from each other’s throats, plundering each other’s land, and made them all accountable to Edo and the throne.
Lord Mori was fortunate in his exemption of having to travel the months to sit in attendance on the Emperor. He was awarded this exemption with pitiful letters to the court complaining of age, ill health and general infirmities. He sent his eldest, rather stupid son to comply with the Emperor’s wishes. He agreed to have this disappointing young man stay in Edo to attend the Emperor. Probably forever.
Lord Mori, however, continued to hunt, hawk and generally enjoy life in the hinterlands.
True, his realm, his fiefdom, was tucked away in mountains hard to cross. To travel to Edo took months because of bad roads, fast rivers and mountain passages. A daimyo was expected to assemble a large entourage for this trip: vassals, brass polishers, flag carriers, outriders, a train of horses and mules to carry all the supplies, litters for the women, litters for advisors and fortune tellers, and then of course, his samurai. His train of honor could be four thousand men or more!
But this tale isn’t about Lord Mori. It’s about one of his generals, his vassal, Lord Nyo and his wife, Lady Nyo, who was born from a branch of a powerful clan, though a clan who had lost standing at the court in Edo.
Now, just for the curious, Lord Nyo is an old samurai, scarred in battle, ugly as most warriors are, and at a lost when it comes to the refinement and elegance of life– especially poetry. His Lady Nyo is fully half his age, a delicate and thoughtful woman, though without issue.
But Lord and Lady Nyo don’t fill these pages alone. There are other characters; priests, magical events, samurai and a particularly tricky Tengu who will entertain any reader of this tale.
A full moon, as in many Japanese tales, figures in the mix. As do poetry, some historic and some bad. War and battles, love and hate. But this is like life. There is no getting one without the other.
The present Lady Nyo, descended from generations past.