For the next two months, RHINO Poetry will focus on translation themes. Naoko Fujimoto (August) and Noh Anothai (September) will be navigators of the forums. They are open to the public, no translation skills required.
With Naoko Fujimoto, we are going to learn three genres of Japanese literature (Zuihitsu, Waka/Haiku, & Renga). After reading translation pieces such as those by Donald Keene, we will have a couple of writing exercises adapting Japanese writing methods.
NOTE: This is a part of RHINO Virtual Poetry Forum Outline.
Style: Zuihitsu (随筆)
Writer/Poet: Sei Shōnagon (清少納言)
Book: The Pillow Book (枕草子)
Section: The first four paragraphs of “Hateful Things” (にくきもの)
Translator: Ivan Morris
One is in a hurry to leave, but one's visitor keeps chattering away. If it is someone of no importance, one can get rid of him by saying, "You must tell me all about it next time"; but, should it be the sort of visitor whose presence commands one's best behaviour, the situation is hateful indeed.
One finds that a hair has got caught in the stone on which one is rubbing one’s inkstick, or again that gravel is lodged in the inkstick, making a nasty, grating sound.
Someone has suddenly fallen ill and one summons the exorcist. Since he is not at home, one has to send messengers to look for him. After one has had a long fretful wait, the exorcist finally arrives, and with a sigh of relief one asks him to start his incantations. But perhaps he has been exorcizing too many evil spirits recently; for hardly has he installed himself and begun praying when his voice becomes drowsy. Oh, how hateful!
A man who has nothing in particular to recommend him discusses all sorts of subjects at random as though he knew everything.
Writing Exercise 1:
Write a first draft of ten paragraphs of zuihitsu
Theme: COVID-19 Things
I am going to time each paragraph. When I say, “Move to the next paragraph”, you are going to start writing a new paragraph with a new idea within the theme. With the timed writing windows, you will have random lengths of paragraphs.