I am still interested in The Pillow Book, the writings of an 11th century Japanese courtesan,
Sei Shonagon who kept musings, lists, observations, opinions on papers she hid in the pillow box
of her bed.
Word got out, and at one point, a lover stole her manuscript and passed it around the court.
Sei Shonagon was upset, but also anxious to hear what people thought of it. And here I am, a thousand years later, searching for her book at the Appleton Public Library.
It is checked out.
I browse the 952's,
hoping to find a book about The Pillow Book
but instead find a book about Basho.
Matsuo Basho, born in Uneo, Japan in 1644, an ambitious and popular poet, fell into a despair so deep that he felt his only way out was to shed all earthly attachments.
At 40, he took to traveling, though precarious and inadvisable, on his quest to restore his true identity, "the everlasting self which is poetry." His travel sketches are prose interspersed with poetry, both his and those of poets he encounters on his journeys.
They write about black rice,
and soft beams of the moon.