Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Pillow Book #65, #66, #67

from Sei Shonagon
"#65 – Poetic anthologiesThe Manyoshu. The Kokinshu.

#66 – Topics of poetry – The capital. The kudzu vine. The water burr. Horses. Hail.

#67 – Disturbing things – The mother of a monk who’s embarked on the twelve-year mountain retreat.

The retainers who accompany their master on a visit to some unfamiliar place on a moonless night – to avoid being seen, they don’t light a fire but just sit there in a row, waiting uneasily in the darkness for him to reappear.

You give a servant, whom you don’t really know and trust yet, some precious thing to take to someone, and then she’s late returning.

A child who’s still too young to talk throws his little head back and bursts into tears, and won’t let anyone pick him up and comfort him."


Sei Shonagon (965 to 1017) is the author of the timeless classic, The Pillow Book, which is part diary, part lists, and a whole lot of strange and strong opinions packed into a single volume. For an undetermined space of time, Miss Sei will serve as Liverputty's courtesan from Kyoto during the high point of the Heian Court period. Translated by Meredith McKinney.

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