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Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Correspondence

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  • ekoogler1@comcast.net
    The poems you all write are so melodious and invocative of all sorts of wonderful imagery. I envy you the ability to write such beautiful compositions. I can
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 3, 2004
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      The poems you all write are so melodious and invocative of all sorts of wonderful imagery. I envy you the ability to write such beautiful compositions. I can write prose, but the poetic form, in any language, has always eluded me. But I do enjoy reading what others write.

      Kiri






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • makiwara_no_yetsuko
      THIS is why I love this group! Makiwara
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 3, 2004
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        THIS is why I love this group!

        Makiwara


        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Kobayashi <jhkob@y...> wrote:
        >
        > --- Maria <tace@m...> wrote:
        > > Really! Correspondence is a delight!
        > >
        > > Mulberry paper
        > > Entwined around a blossom
        > > Sweetly scented words
        > > Composed in charming sequence.
        > > Ah! My heart will break with joy!
        > >
        > > From my home overlooking the Great River,
        > >
        > > --Ki no Torahime
        > >
        > Agreed!
        >
        > Winging words sending
        > Intimate sorrows and joys
        > Fragile as the dawn.
        > My mind rides the brushstroked words
        > to thoughts of strangers and friends.
        >
        > Ki no Izumi, called Kobayashi
        >
        > =====
        > - Jennifer
        >
        >
        >
        > _______________________________
        > Do you Yahoo!?
        > Express yourself with Y! Messenger! Free. Download now.
        > http://messenger.yahoo.com
      • makiwara_no_yetsuko
        ... eluded me. But I do enjoy reading what others write. ... You honor us with your praise. I find rhymed, metric poetry MUCH harder (the mere concept of the
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 3, 2004
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          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, ekoogler1@c... wrote:
          > I can write prose, but the poetic form, in any language, has always
          eluded me. But I do enjoy reading what others write.
          >
          > Kiri

          You honor us with your praise. I find rhymed, metric poetry MUCH
          harder (the mere concept of the sestina makes my hair hurt), but
          there's something about distilling a thought or image down to thirty-
          one syllables (or seventeen for the haiku fans) that really appeals
          to me. Yes, it takes practice, but that practice is habit forming.
          And fun.

          Makiwara
        • Date Saburou Yukiie
          Pennsic looming now samurai donning armor with quiet repose... all shall serve best their master who lose life that they may serve pen strokes to the wife wet
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 3, 2004
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            Pennsic looming now
            samurai donning armor
            with quiet repose...
            all shall serve best their master
            who lose life that they may serve

            pen strokes to the wife
            wet black marks on white paper
            brushing true feelings
            take care of the family
            and the children of my loins

            the drums start beating
            to gather all around them
            with their gear in hand
            soon we line in rank and file
            three sandals march shall we trod

            the fires at night burn
            with the fervor of demons
            summoning combat
            as morning glows we shall rise
            and take in hand sharpened tools

            arrows fly at dawn
            lodging in the chests of brave
            soldiers defiant
            yet standing to face the gods
            honorably standing ground



            Date Saburou Yukiie
            Yama Kaminari Ryu
            Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave




            --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Kobayashi <jhkob@y...> wrote:
            >
            > --- Maria <tace@m...> wrote:
            >
            > > makiwara_no_yetsuko wrote:
            > >
            > > > You say that like it's a BAD thing. ;->
            > > >
            > > > Crisp folds and brushstrokes,
            > > > Perhaps a whiff of incense,
            > > > Delight the senses
            > > > Eager fingers taste with joy
            > > > The news of faraway friends.
            > > >
            > > Really! Correspondence is a delight!
            > >
            > > Mulberry paper
            > > Entwined around a blossom
            > > Sweetly scented words
            > > Composed in charming sequence.
            > > Ah! My heart will break with joy!
            > >
            > > From my home overlooking the Great River,
            > >
            > > --Ki no Torahime
            > >
            > Agreed!
            >
            > Winging words sending
            > Intimate sorrows and joys
            > Fragile as the dawn.
            > My mind rides the brushstroked words
            > to thoughts of strangers and friends.
            >
            > Ki no Izumi, called Kobayashi
            >
            > =====
            > - Jennifer
            >
            >
            >
            > _______________________________
            > Do you Yahoo!?
            > Express yourself with Y! Messenger! Free. Download now.
            > http://messenger.yahoo.com
          • Solveig
            Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! I am not saying that classical Japanese poetry is a bad thing. I am saying that writing classical Japanese poetry
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 3, 2004
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              Noble Cousin!

              Greetings from Solveig! I am not saying that classical Japanese poetry is
              a bad thing. I am saying that writing classical Japanese poetry correctly
              is a HARD thing. It is HARD for modern Japanese. There is rather more to
              the sensibility of classical Japanese poetry than simply doing the 5-7-5-7-7
              thing.
              --

              Your Humble Servant
              Solveig Throndardottir
              Amateur Scholar

              +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
              | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
              | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
              | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
              +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
              | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
              | the trash by my email filters. |
              +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
            • makiwara_no_yetsuko
              ... I think that last one should be tread but otherwise, this is great! Makiwara
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 3, 2004
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                --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Date Saburou Yukiie" <kabuto@c...>
                wrote:
                > the drums start beating
                > to gather all around them
                > with their gear in hand
                > soon we line in rank and file
                > three sandals march shall we trod

                I think that last one should be "tread" but otherwise, this is great!

                Makiwara
              • Jennifer Kobayashi
                ... Absolutely! Thank you all. Ki no Izumi called Kobayashi ... ===== - Jennifer __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail is new and
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 3, 2004
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                  --- makiwara_no_yetsuko
                  <makiwara_no_yetsuko@...> wrote:

                  > THIS is why I love this group!
                  >
                  > Makiwara
                  >

                  Absolutely! Thank you all.

                  Ki no Izumi called Kobayashi


                  ===========================
                  --- Date Saburou Yukiie <kabuto@...> wrote:

                  > Pennsic looming now
                  > samurai donning armor
                  > with quiet repose...
                  > all shall serve best their master
                  > who lose life that they may serve
                  >
                  > pen strokes to the wife
                  > wet black marks on white paper
                  > brushing true feelings
                  > take care of the family
                  > and the children of my loins
                  >
                  > the drums start beating
                  > to gather all around them
                  > with their gear in hand
                  > soon we line in rank and file
                  > three sandals march shall we trod
                  >
                  > the fires at night burn
                  > with the fervor of demons
                  > summoning combat
                  > as morning glows we shall rise
                  > and take in hand sharpened tools
                  >
                  > arrows fly at dawn
                  > lodging in the chests of brave
                  > soldiers defiant
                  > yet standing to face the gods
                  > honorably standing ground
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Date Saburou Yukiie
                  > Yama Kaminari Ryu
                  > Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > > > makiwara_no_yetsuko wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > > You say that like it's a BAD thing. ;->
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Crisp folds and brushstrokes,
                  > > > > Perhaps a whiff of incense,
                  > > > > Delight the senses
                  > > > > Eager fingers taste with joy
                  > > > > The news of faraway friends.
                  > > > >
                  > > > Really! Correspondence is a delight!
                  > > >
                  > > > Mulberry paper
                  > > > Entwined around a blossom
                  > > > Sweetly scented words
                  > > > Composed in charming sequence.
                  > > > Ah! My heart will break with joy!
                  > > >
                  > > > From my home overlooking the Great River,
                  > > >
                  > > > --Ki no Torahime
                  > > >
                  > > Agreed!
                  > >
                  > > Winging words sending
                  > > Intimate sorrows and joys
                  > > Fragile as the dawn.
                  > > My mind rides the brushstroked words
                  > > to thoughts of strangers and friends.
                  > >
                  > > Ki no Izumi, called Kobayashi
                  > >
                  > > =====
                  > > - Jennifer
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >


                  =====
                  - Jennifer



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                • Maria
                  ... Certainly, Solveig-dono, you are correct. One of the problems that English-speaking poets face now in approaching the Tanka is that there has not been a
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 4, 2004
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                    Solveig wrote:

                    > Noble Cousin!
                    >
                    > Greetings from Solveig! I am not saying that classical Japanese poetry is
                    > a bad thing. I am saying that writing classical Japanese poetry correctly
                    > is a HARD thing. It is HARD for modern Japanese. There is rather more to
                    > the sensibility of classical Japanese poetry than simply doing the
                    > 5-7-5-7-7
                    > thing.


                    Certainly, Solveig-dono, you are correct.

                    One of the problems that English-speaking poets face now in approaching
                    the Tanka is that there has not been a consensus on how it _should_ be
                    written in English. While 5-7-5-7-7 is what is generally taught, there
                    is a movement to consider using less syllables. See this excellent
                    article for reference: http://www.ahapoetry.com/wildonji.htm .

                    As I've often said here: my Japanese is self-taught and half-baked.
                    However, even in my poor studies I have learned something of the
                    differences between Japanese and English. Because our languages are so
                    different, how must we approach a poetic form?

                    Certainly, we must keep in mind themes and aesthetics. However, the
                    themes and aesthetics gradually change over the years, even during the
                    Classical period. Compare the poems of the Man'yoshu to the Shin
                    Kokinshu and it is very evident. Today, in English-speaking poetic
                    circles, there are different schools of thought as to how to approach
                    the tanka. Some people go almost to the point of free-form poetry (as
                    the Japanese have, in turn, taken new values in their own approach to
                    tanka, especially in the 20th century). I personally disagree with this
                    approach, but many do not.

                    Some poets stick to the English-syllable 5-7-5-7-7 approach, regardless
                    of topic. I started out this way, as many people do. It is a way to
                    get people used to the art form, but it is not pure in the aesthetic
                    sense. Achieving that takes time and practice. I know I am not there
                    yet, although looking at my work versus my work a year ago, I think
                    perhaps I have progressed.

                    Going further, some approach English tanka in a way akin to the haiku.
                    I think this is maybe late-period thinking? The waka written in the
                    later middle ages differed a great deal from that written during the
                    Heian era in its themes.

                    Trying to use such forms as makura-katoba are difficult in English
                    because it comes over as trite and cliched. Our tradition is such that
                    we are not supposed to use a previously coined phrase from another
                    poet. Yet it was expected and admired in classical Japanese poetry. So
                    how do we adapt that into English? Do we take the Japanese phrases,
                    which may have no context in our culture? Do we use our own cultural
                    contexts? I once wrote a tanka using the phrase "wine-dark sea" as an
                    attempt at a makura-katoba
                    (http://www.shef.ac.uk/japan2001/makurakotoba.shtml) . It was forced
                    and didn't sound quite right, but it was the best thing I could come up
                    with at the time that had a cultural context and feeling that would be
                    instantly understandable.

                    We are all students here, and we are all learning. In the meantime, it
                    is refreshing to know that there are others around who are also
                    interested in this time and era, and who would take the time to attempt
                    a poem with their correspondence, just as an Heian-era lady might do.

                    From my home overlooking the Great River,

                    Ki no Torahime
                  • Anthony J. Bryant
                    ... Oh, good lord... another person who has bought into the theoretical pronunciation of early Japanese. Such transliteration is an interesting theoretical and
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 4, 2004
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                      Maria wrote:
                      > I once wrote a tanka using the phrase "wine-dark sea" as an
                      > attempt at a makura-katoba
                      > (http://www.shef.ac.uk/japan2001/makurakotoba.shtml) .

                      Oh, good lord... another person who has bought into the theoretical
                      pronunciation of early Japanese.

                      Such transliteration is an interesting theoretical and academic experiment, but
                      does no good in conventional publication. No Japanese doing historical
                      literature says "pi" is "day/sun" -- he says "hi."

                      I'm sorry, but things like that really annoy the hell out of me. They make it
                      difficult to be able to intelligently discuss (or quote) material, as it uses
                      something that no normal scholar even uses in normal practise.

                      (It's my argument against some "creative" translations of Kojiki and Nihongi --
                      they use the theoretical pronunciations of the early names of characters,
                      thereby assuring that most readers of the books will never be able to keep track
                      of who in their version is who to everyone else, or have a conversation about them.)

                      Other than that, it's a good website. :)

                      Effingham
                      --

                      Anthony J. Bryant
                      Website: http://www.sengokudaimyo.com

                      Effingham's Heraldic Avatars (...and stuff):
                      http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/avatarbiz.html

                      Grand Cross, Order of the Laurel:
                      http://www.cafepress.com/laurelorder
                    • Maria
                      ... Sorry you didn t like the website, Hiraizumi-dono. I mainly posted it because of the paragraph that explained what a makura-kotoba was (since people might
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 4, 2004
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                        Anthony J. Bryant wrote:

                        > Maria wrote:
                        > > I once wrote a tanka using the phrase "wine-dark sea" as an
                        > > attempt at a makura-katoba
                        > > (http://www.shef.ac.uk/japan2001/makurakotoba.shtml)
                        > <http://www.shef.ac.uk/japan2001/makurakotoba.shtml%29> .
                        >
                        > Oh, good lord... another person who has bought into the theoretical
                        > pronunciation of early Japanese.
                        >
                        Sorry you didn't like the website, Hiraizumi-dono. I mainly posted it
                        because of the paragraph that explained what a makura-kotoba was (since
                        people might not understand the term, and I lack the vocabulary to
                        explain it properly).

                        As far as pronunciations, I haven't gotten that far yet. *blushes* I'm
                        still trying to conquer modern Japanese. I go by the romanji given with
                        the English translations in my poetry books so far. Figured I'd deal
                        with that other issue (Classical Japanese) when I have more experience.
                        I've tried to read some of the poetry in the original form but I'm not
                        quite at that level yet.

                        However, I guess my point was trying to adapt the concept of
                        makura-kotoba into English, and whether it could be done without
                        sounding stupid or trite (or plagiaristic) our language. It's less
                        about translation from Japanese and more about composition in English.
                        I apologize if I wasn't clear.

                        Ki no Torahime
                      • makiwara_no_yetsuko
                        ... that ... poetry. So ... [Grin] I occasionally contribute some of these on the Outlands Bardic list in response to weekly challenges on given themes. A
                        Message 11 of 21 , Aug 4, 2004
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                          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Maria <tace@m...> wrote:
                          > Trying to use such forms as makura-katoba are difficult in English
                          > because it comes over as trite and cliched. Our tradition is such
                          that
                          > we are not supposed to use a previously coined phrase from another
                          > poet. Yet it was expected and admired in classical Japanese
                          poetry. So
                          > how do we adapt that into English?

                          [Grin] I occasionally contribute some of these on the Outlands Bardic
                          list in response to weekly challenges on given themes. A couple of
                          weeks ago, the challenge was to write a lament. I gave them this:

                          Waiting in the dark
                          To hear the faintest footfall -
                          But he did not come.
                          Sorrow's dew weights silken sleeves,
                          A tear for each leaden hour.

                          The wet sleeves image got "Wows" from my readers. THEY didn't think
                          it was a cliche because they didn't know it was one. English readers
                          may not recognize allusions or quotations from Japanese classics. I
                          think that the appreciation a Japanese would have of a makura-katoba
                          may be akin to an SCA audience appreciating a filk. "Ah, that's
                          familiar so it's funny!" Or sad or whatever.

                          As a non-Japanese speaker limited to reading translated works, I am
                          aware that there are nuances I am missing because there are
                          linguistic cues I am by necessity divorced from. (It bugs the hell
                          out of me, but I don't have the time or resources to try to learn to
                          read Japanese. So I stick to the syllable count as it is what gives a
                          non-rhymed, non-metric poem its structure. It's also an exercise in
                          discipline. I concentrate on trying to distill a thought or image
                          within said structure. If I can effectively use an image or allusion
                          to give the poem a Japanese flavor that a Western reader can "get"
                          without a four paragraph preface on context, I figure I've
                          succeeded.

                          > We are all students here, and we are all learning.
                          Here here.

                          Makiwara, eternal student
                        • Anthony J. Bryant
                          ... Oh, no... I like the website. It has useful material. It just has some dangerous eccentricities that can really mess people up if they don t know what
                          Message 12 of 21 , Aug 4, 2004
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                            Maria wrote:


                            >
                            > Sorry you didn't like the website, Hiraizumi-dono. I mainly posted it
                            > because of the paragraph that explained what a makura-kotoba was (since
                            > people might not understand the term, and I lack the vocabulary to
                            > explain it properly).

                            Oh, no... I like the website. It has useful material. It just has some dangerous
                            eccentricities that can really mess people up if they don't know what they're
                            doing or looking at.

                            > However, I guess my point was trying to adapt the concept of
                            > makura-kotoba into English, and whether it could be done without
                            > sounding stupid or trite (or plagiaristic) our language. It's less
                            > about translation from Japanese and more about composition in English.
                            > I apologize if I wasn't clear.

                            One of the great problems with makurakotoba and utamakura is that they require
                            an innate understanding of the literature and the culture on the part of the
                            reader -- otherwise it's like an in joke that falls flat. And reading short
                            poetry with subtitles can really be annoying. :)

                            Ultimately, makurakotoba and utamakura are cliches, or puns, or both; and while
                            we tend to deride cliches and such in English, they were the lifeblood of
                            Japanese poetry. It's a tough haul. :)

                            Here's a bit I translated for vol. 3 of "The Story of Japan" by Hiraizumi
                            Kiyoshi, on the birth of Emperor Meiji (note the footnote on the poem):

                            "Sakura Azumao, who had been praying fervently for an easy birth, was overcome
                            and wept tears of joy, and wrote the following poem:
                            'When I think deeply
                            of the prince
                            of the heir to the goddess
                            on this day of shining sun,
                            my tears flow.'
                            (FOOTNOTE: The poem includes a pun:
                            'Amaterasu hi tsugi no miko no mikoto zo to
                            fukaku omoeba namida shi nagaru.'
                            Amaterasu is the name of the sun goddess, the ancestral deity of the imperial
                            line, and here it can also mean 'shining sky.' Likewise, as the kanji 'nichi/hi'
                            (sun) is the first element in the name of Japan (nichi + hon = nihon), the
                            "Hitsugi" can either be 'the heir of the sun' or 'the heir of Japan.')"

                            All that kind of stuff is normally picked up on by the reader of Japanese
                            poetry. We have to explain it. Makes life difficult. :)

                            Effingham
                            --

                            Anthony J. Bryant
                            Website: http://www.sengokudaimyo.com

                            Effingham's Heraldic Avatars (...and stuff):
                            http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/avatarbiz.html

                            Grand Cross, Order of the Laurel:
                            http://www.cafepress.com/laurelorder
                          • Justin Flatt
                            Greetings, friends all. I have a question! Was there a demon in japanese mythology similar to the sirens? One that lured in it s victims (not necessarily
                            Message 13 of 21 , Sep 7, 2004
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                              Greetings, friends all.

                              I have a question! Was there a demon in japanese
                              mythology similar to the sirens? One that lured in
                              it's victims (not necessarily sailors) with song? Any
                              information is helpful, especially a name.

                              Arigatou,

                              Hideaki



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