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Ryokan

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It's a pity, a gentleman in refined retirement composing poetry:
He models his work on the classic verse of China.
And his poems are elegant, full of fine phrases.
But if you don't write of things deep in your own heart,
What's the use of churning out so many words?
--
Variant translation: With gaudy words their lines are formed And further adorned by novel and curious phrases. Yet if they fail to express what is in their own minds What is the use, no matter How many poems they compose!
--
"Zen Poetics of Ryokan" in Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry (Summer 2006)

 
Ryokan

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