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The Woman Without a Hole and Other Risky…

The Woman Without a Hole and Other Risky Themes from Old Japanese Poems

by Robin D. Gill

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I had to look the work SENRYU up in the dictionary, just to be sure what I was reading. I was thrown off by the title and found that senryu is a 3 line unrhymed Japense poem structurally similar to haiku that highlights the foibles of human nature, usually in a humorous or satiric way. It is apparent that the author prepared herself by reading background materials and translating the poems with a freedom that allowed her to be as accurate as possible without her being able to read Japenese. This is a must-read book for Japenese students, even while they are hiding the title until they are so mesmerized by the contents that it no longer matters what the title(s) are. 3 days into reading the book, I stopped explaining what I was reading and just shared what I was reading with others; all were impressed with the translations, the content and most importantly, the author's hard work. I have read some reviews that were unkind, and I simply ask you to put those aside, read the book, and make your own decisions. You will find 18-19c Japenese poems with dirty themes, and examples of senryu such as: " time-as-for-wife-dissatisfied face" translated for you, which meant " coming before his wife she looks far from satisfied." Amusing, yes, but pages upon pages will make you smile, educate you on the genre of senryu and keep you entertained while giving you a new appreciation of their importance in history and philosophy. Buy this English anthology of Senryu for a friend, but also buy one for your own library. It is one book that you will come back to over and over again, not for the title, but for the wonderful translations done by Ms Gill. . ( )
  bakersfieldbarbara | Aug 11, 2010 |
No one really familiar with dirty senryu that I know of has ever translated it. It is often cited by those researching the sex life (real and fiction) of Edo Japan. The author does not yet know if the translations will delight people or horrify them and awaits YOUR review. Please check out the contents once they are up at google books, amazon or both. It is pp 504, $30, and contains all the japanese originals and thorough indexes.
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1 vote | keigu | Oct 19, 2007 |
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