sensibility

Why is a heart
attached to cherry blossoms
still in this body
which, I thought,
had forsaken the world?

Saigyô

Advertisements

sonnet XX

A woman’s face, with Nature’s own hand painted,
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;
A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change as is false women’s fashion;
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hew, all Hews in his controlling,
Which steals men’s eyes, and women’s souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created:
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she prickt thee out for women’s pleasure,
Mine be thy love, and thy love’s use their treasure.

William Shakespeare

sonnet XIX

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.

William Shakespeare

useless dreams

A good poet is someone who can make a verse interesting.
A master is someone whose verse does not sound interesting
but has a flavor deep inside.
A still higher stage is when a poet has reached the utmost of the art
and his poem presents
neither color nor fragrance.
Only at that stage one can be accredited
as having obtained
the quintessence of haikai.

Uejima Onitsura