Friedrich Schlegel, Kritische Fragmente (1797)
"There is so much poetry, and yet there is nothing rarer than a poem."
Portuguese Man of War tentacles
About the twentieth of the ninth month, at the invitation of a certain gentleman, I spent the night wandering with him viewing the moon. He happened to remember a house we passed on the way, and, having himself announced, went inside. In a corner of the overgrown garden heavy with dew, I caught the faint scent of some perfume which seemed quite accidental. This suggestion of someone living in retirement from the world moved me deeply.
In due time, the gentleman emerged, but I was still under the spell of the place. As I gazed for a while at the scene from the shadows, someone pushed the double doors open a crack wider, evidently to look at the moon. It would have been most disappointing if she had bolted the doors as soon as he had gone! How was she to know that someone lingering behind would see her? Such a gesture could only have been the product of inborn sensitivity.
I heard that she died not long afterwards.”
Tsurezuregusa (徒然草?, Essays in Idleness, alternatively: The Harvest of Leisure) is a collection of Japanese essays written by the monk Yoshida Kenkō between 1330 and 1332.
The work takes its name from its preface passage:
Tsurezurenaru mama ni, hikurashi, suzuri ni mukaite, kokoro ni utsuriyuku yoshinashigoto wo, sokowakatonaku kakitsukureba, ayashū koso monoguruoshikere.
In Keene’s translation:
What a strange, demented feeling it gives me when I realise I have spent whole days before this inkstone, with nothing better to do, jotting down at random whatever nonsensical thoughts that have entered my head.
where つれづれ (tsurezure) means “having nothing to do.”
"RARE DOCUMENTS OF STEVE ROGGENBUCK’S PAST"
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