When Jakuren and others urged him to compose a hundred poem sequence, he refused and went off on a pilgrimage to Kumano; on the way, he had a dream that all else might fade, but that poetry would be something lasting through the end of the world; thinking that he must give a reason for composing the poems to Superintendant Tankai and Toshinari of the third rank, when he awakened he hurriedly composed them and sent them off, writing this in the wrapping.


sue no yo mo
kono nasake nomi
kawarazu to
mishi yume naku wa
yoso ni kikamashi
At the world’s end
This gentle art alone
Will stand imperishable –
Had I not had this dream…
I would have you hear of it.

The Monk Saigyō

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