|Please enlarge if you're able to read Japanese.|
A few seconds later, I heard chuckles coming from her room. Then there was uncontrolled laughter and hilarity.
I thanked Sam later on Skype and told him that apparently Mom loved it. Since Sam works as a Japanese/English translator for foreign businesses, we asked him what it was about. He started to laugh saying, "I can't. Ask your mother, please."
Art and I looked at each other quizzically which probably only made Sam laugh louder.
We asked Mom about the senryu and she explained that a senryu is like a haiku.
I got this from Wikipedia:
Senryū (川柳, literally 'river willow') is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 or fewer total morae (or "on", often translated as syllables, but see the article on onji for distinctions). Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious. Unlike haiku, senryū do not include a kireji (cutting word), and do not generally include a kigo, or season word.
I still don't get it, but we asked Mom what the meaning of all the pieces of senryu were about.
Apparently the senryus were about Seniors:
* If a doctor or your wife become quiet, it's time to be frightened.
* You spend time polishing your pre-bought tombstone.
* Patients are more worried about their elderly doctor.
* If you're healthy, you have nothing to talk about at the Senior Club.
* You hope for a quick passing, but take pills to stay alive.
* You write a memo to remember something, but forget where the memo is so you have to write a memo to remember where the memo is.
* You're more afraid if your spouse is sleeping quietly than if they're snoring.
* You're too scared to tell your wife that ... ummm... the make-up no longer helps.
* You're looking forward to seeing your dog in the next world, rather than your spouse.
* Desserts are pills rather than cakes.
* The same kanji (Chinese character) means either lovestruck or senility.
These are just a few of them. Many of these were truisms, but didn't explain Mom's uproarious laughter. She tried to explain how they were incredibly funny sort of poems. It is the structure of the poems along with the humor and truths of being older. She tried desperately to explain WHY it was so amazingly funny. We were perplexed. This must be sort of like the difference between British and American humor, but more so.
Art says he was just surprised to see her laughing that hard.
Sigh... I guess it was lost in translation.