#88.

A well-known Japanese poet was asked how to compose a Chinese poem.

“The usual Chinese poem is four lines,” he explained. “The first line contains the initial phase; the second line, the continuation of that phase; the third line turns from this subject and begins a new one; and the fourth line brings the first three lines together.” A popular Japanese song illustrates this:

Two daughters of a silk merchant live
in Kyoto.

The elder is twenty, the younger
eighteen.

A soldier may kill with his sword,
but these girls slay men with their eyes.

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