Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Monday, September 23, 2013

Between the Spoken and Unspoken

A Tanka Set for Anne Lister's Spiritual Daughters

they cursed and burned
Anne Lister and Ann Walker
in effigy
XXX on her copy
of The Well of Loneliness

a thin layer of dust
on her bookshelf
The Diaries of Anne Lister
leans against Emma
in the pale moonlight

NeverEnding Story, August 9, 2013

Note: Anne Lister (1791–1840) was a well-off Yorkshire landowner, diarist, mountaineer and traveller. Throughout her life she kept diaries which chronicled the details of her daily life, including her lesbian relationships, her financial concerns, her industrial activities and her work improving Shibden Hall. Her diaries contain more than 4,000,000 words and about a sixth of them—those concerning the intimate details of her romantic and sexual relationships—some parts in her diaries were written in code. The code, derived from a combination of algebra and Ancient Greek, was deciphered in the 1930s. Lister is often called "the first modern lesbian" for her clear self-knowledge and openly lesbian lifestyle…. -- excerpted from the Wikipedia entry, Anne Lister