It’s books like this that make it both difficult and besides the point when people ask me how books I read in a year or a month or a week or whatever. I love this book. Every so often I pick it up and read through some of the poems. In fact, I just did it.

What I didn’t do is read systematically through it from cover to cover.

Instead, I read a few and was inspired to read a chapter from the second book of The Tale Genji, which I had started and then set down after finishing the first book. I did this because Murasaki is one of the featured poets.

I am also thinking of going back and finding some other books in my collection by Japanese women poets (names, Salad Anniversary and Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa).

Reading poetry is a different thing than reading novels or nonfiction. It’s a different kind of attention and is done at a different kind of pace.