Monday, November 29, 2010

Pillow Book 1: Things to Look Forward to

Here's a good one for everybody who loves lists.  I've wanted to do a Pillow Book for some time.  Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book is described as "a collection of lists, gossip, poetry, observations, complaints and anyting else she found of interest during her years in court."  I have a copy of Shonagon's book floating around my house somewhere.  I need to find it.  I remember what I liked most were her lists.  Another name for this kind of book is a Zuihitsu.  I've ordered a Zuihitsu called Hōjōki


I like lists (particularly poetic lists) but find them a little difficult to do, so I think it will be a good excercize for me.  I want to generate at least five things each time.  I can also go back and add things as I think of them.  My first topic:

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO

1.  Allen in the truck, waiting to take me home from work
2.  The first snow
3.  Settling into a hot bath
4.  Toads' songs, spring
5.  Return of buzzards to Ohio, spring
6.  Pączki

Here's a partial list from Shonagon's book that I found online.  I especially like the last one.

[From a list of "things that give you pleasure":]


  • You've read the first volume of a tale you hadn't come across before, and are longing to go on with it --- then you find the other volume. The rest of it can sometimes turn out to be disappointing, however....
  • It's also wonderfully pleasing when you're in a large company of people in the presence of someone great, and she's talking, either about something in the past or on a matter she's only just heard about, some topic of the moment, and as she speaks, it's you she singles out to look at.....
  • When a poem that you've composed for some event, or in a exchange of poems, is talked of by everyone and noted down when they hear it. This hasn't happened to me personally, but I can imagine how it would feel....
  • When someone you don't like meets with some misfortune, you're pleased even though you know this is wicked of you.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I love this entry, Theresa, and I love lists!

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Dreaming

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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken

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