Quote of the Day
In Britain the most adventurous list in poetry and in fiction is that being printed according to the ideals of a small press by Carcanet, well away from London. It does look as if the old alliance between the words of the writer and the artistry of making fine books has a vital future.
Subscribe to our mailing list
Translated by William I. Elliott and Kazuo Kawamura
ISBN: 978 1 857543 54 4
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 1998
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
When I stroll along this field,
the kind and cunning sky hiding nothingness
behind its back,
I wonder what kind of wind blows in that forest?
from `Sonnet 52'
Shuntaro Tanikawa, the most inventive poet in Japanese poetic history, is also that country's most popular, and arguably its best, contemporary poet. Born in 1931, he published his first book of poems when he was 21, his most recent a year or two ago. This selection from the substantial bulk of his writings demonstrates his versatility and his originality.
One original feature of his work is that he does not write haiku. But haiku-lovers will not be too disappointed, because the poems have the compactness and the points of focus which the haiku form teaches. Original, too, are the ways in which Tanikawa has absorbed and transposed elements of European and American culture for his own distinctly Japanese purposes. He is at times like a philosopher in the game-room of language, at times a child let loose in the great garden of world poetry.
KAZUO KAWAMURA is a Professor of English Literature at Kanto Gakuin University in Yokohama.
The poet WILLIAM I. ELLIOT is a Professor of English and American Literature at the same University.
The Carcanet Blog A Natural Hybrid by Karen McCarthy Woolf read more News from Niue with John Gallas read more A Short Note on a Painted Violin by Greg O'Brien read more The Carcanet Blog Halloween Special read more Louise Gluck's 'Faithful and Virtuous Night' on the TS Eliot Prize shortlist! read more A Portrait for America: An Anti-Monumental Monument by David C. Ward read more
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2014 Carcanet Press Ltd