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One Hundred Poems From the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth

02 May

“In the eternal
Light of the spring day
The flowers fall away
Like the unquiet heart.”

Kenneth Rexroth is a celebrated poet in his own right but in this collection he provides a translation and basic introduction to Japanese poetry and how it differs from Western poetry. Each poem is translated by Rexroth with the original Japanese language and then characters printed below. A short biography of each poet is provided in the back.

I admit that if I go to a bookstore without a certain book in mind, I tend to get in trouble. This book was one of three unexpected choices that called out as I browsed the poetry section. I’ve always enjoyed Rexroth’s poetry and I suppose the current events in Japan also pulled me to this simple tome. This is a good introduction to Japanese poetry and is a quick and reflective read. I am struck by how a few simple words can evoke such an emotional response from the reader. 1955, 140 pages.

Hisa kata no
Hikari nodokeki
Haru no hi ni
Shizu kokoro naku
Hana no chiruramu

~Ki No Tomonori

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1 Comment

Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Nonfiction, Poetry

 

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One response to “One Hundred Poems From the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth

  1. Ken Knabb

    May 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Many more of Rexroth’s translations, poems, essays and other writings are online at http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth

    Enjoy!

     

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