Monday, April 29, 2019

A to Z: Letters to Dead Writers: Empress Yamato

This month I'm writing one post for each letter of the alphabet, all on the theme of "Letters to Dead Writers." You can see my theme reveal post here and learn more about the blogging challenge here.

Today's writer is Empress Yamato.

Dear Empress Yamato,

I'm probably being very presumptuous to write you a letter. You're an empress after all, and I'm a middle school teacher living more than a thousand years and more than a thousand miles from your world.

That's the problem with us 21st century women. We just don't know our place. I like to think you'd understand that, as a woman ruler so long ago. 

There's just something about your story. Something comforting in knowing that a woman rose to power so long ago, and maintained it for eleven years. Something affecting in your words of grief and love.

I haven't seen much of your work. Not much has survived to this day, and even less has been translated and published in English.

Like me, you took special joy in observing the change of seasons, and the weather seemed tied to what you were feeling. My favorite is this one:

It speaks to me of the way grief can come along to smack you in the face at unexpected moments, when something innocuous and ordinary brings your lost love to mind and you feel the loss of them all over again. Those damp sleeves break my heart.

Your admirer from across time and space,

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