23 year old Norikiyo Satoh, an elite warrior who served the retired emperor, became a Buddhist monk and called himself Saigyo. His reasons for becoming a monk are not known.

However, it is said that the actual person was quite different from the rustic image one might have of a wandering Buddhist monk and hermit. He had connections with the highest authorities of his time, such as the retired emperor Suitoku, worked with Taira no Kiyomori as a warrior, met with the first Shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo, and left us with many episodes from his time as a political coordinator, at which he worked even after becoming a monk.

He was, of course, also a famous poet. Since his death, his life has become legend in Japan. But where can we find the true Saigyo? Perhaps in the "suffering spiritual flower" of his poems.

Poet of the day

George Essex Evans was an Australian poet.

Biography

Evans was born in London on 18 June 1863. Both his parents were Welsh. Evans's father, John Evans, Q.C., died in 1864 when Evans was only a few months old. John Evans, who was the Treasurer of the Inner Temple and a...
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Poem of the day


In o'er-strict calyx lingering,
Lay music's bud too long unblown,
Till thou, Beethoven, breathed the spring:
Then bloomed the perfect rose of tone.

O Psalmist of the weak, the strong,
O Troubadour of love and strife,
Co-Litanist of right and wrong,
Sole Hymner of...
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