Now I am inspired by Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness)
from the Muromachi and Kamakura periods. Yosheido
Kenko was born c 1283 and was a Buddhist monk. I like his
‘follow-the-brush’ style which is a kind of stream-of-consciousness.
I read the sections and then convert them to chokas (14 line poems,
using 5 and 7 syllable lines in a prescribed order. (5,7,x 4; 7, 5,7,5,7,7,)
Paraphrase is possible, but I update them and use modern idiom, where
I can. I used the William N Porter translation, 1914.
The first entry is on Conversation….
so long as they’re not
self-obsessed and garrulous.
Sometimes hopes are dashed
when you realise that looks
can be a bore’s hooks
and a cockail party’s ruin.
The hostess may relieve you,
if you are lucky.
Others may see your signal
and fly to your aid.
Often they are only glad
that they have escaped the trap.