“New Year”

Old friends, new places
Pour the hot sake
Grind the inkstone for
First calligraphy.
Sugawara no Tokihira

Liner notes:

This poem was written as a thank you for a great friend, Verrix, who hosted us for Kingdom Twelfth Night, as well as a post-revel for the Royalty.  January 23rd marks the Japanese New Year, and of course Twelfth Night marks the New Year for SCA.  So the imagery and conventions in this poem evoke the New Year.  Friendship, celebrations involving imbibing alcohol, and of course, the first poem of the new year.

The form is jueju, Chinese in origin with the 5-5-5-5 pattern of syllables known as wujue (strictly speaking, this should have a rhyming and inflection pattern, the inflection pattern being impossible to duplicate in English).  Composed 14th day of 12th month, AS XLVI, at Kingdom Twelfth Night.  A photo of the calligraphy presented to Verrix is presented below.  Also note the tenkoku (signature seal), the red stamp in the bottom left.  I also carved the seal at Twelfth Night.


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