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Welcome to Carcanet Press, one of the outstanding independent literary publishers of our time. Now in its fifth decade, Carcanet publishes the most comprehensive and diverse list available of modern and classic poetry in English and in translation, as well as a range of inventive fiction, Lives and Letters and literary criticism.
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Poem of the Day

Between Here and There

Sinead Morrisey

No one seems sure of the reason why aprons
Are tied to the necks of stone babies in temples.
The priest says 'honour'.
The guide to Kyoto City mentions 'cold
On their journey away from us to the heaven for children'.
I look at them squatting in Buddha-reflection,
Wrapped up to the throat in teddy bears and trains.

*

There's a graveyard for miscarriages under Ikeda Mountain
As stark as a bone-field. No flowers, tangerines, sake or aprons
But a basin of stone bodies in two parts: square body, round head.
Like oriental soldiers contained by a wall, they would go walking -
Spill over with all of the energy for life that fell out of them too soon.
Except that even in stone some bodies have opened:
Loose balls in the basin where heads have rolled.

*

Inside the biggest wooden building in the world
Sits Japan's greatest Buddha, one hand raised as a stop sign to evil.
The other is flat, flat with comfort and promise, flat enough
For all of us to nuzzle his thumb. His lily-flower opened.
His crossing was a falling into light.
Fall with me, he says, and you'll be raised to the heights
Of the roof of the biggest wooden building in the world.


*

When Nagasawa visits the house of the dead
He leaves at the door his camera and tripod
His champion karaoke voice his miracle foot massage
His classroom dynamics his rockhard atheism
And slips onto the tatami of the prayer room
As the man who can chant any you-name-it-soul
Between here and Ogaki to paradise.
Taken from 'New Poetries II'...
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