The Poetry School’s Course Programme for 2006-07 is available now. If you live in the UK and write poetry you owe it to yourself to check out the courses. This year there’s an even wider range than usual and all the courses I’ve attended in the past have been excellent – great tuition and great to meet others with the same passion for poetry.
Best to apply early, it books up fast.
This book looks fantastic. I too am a fan of BashÃµ, and of many Japanese poets, including SaigyÃµ and ShÃµtetsu. I am also desperately seeking the book Chiyo-ni: Woman Haiku Master, the greatest woman haiku poet, and possibly the best haiku poet.
Coming back to BashÃµ…I do have a book written in a similar way to the one your piece refers to:
‘A Zen Wave: Basho’s Haiku & Zen’ by Robert Aitken. It also breaks down the poetry in the manner you refer to by Oseko, but I feel, reading this, that Oseko does it a step better, and his passion shines through. But, nevertheless, I would suggest the Aitken book to be worth a look. It does not, however, have the Japanese script version og the poems, only the romaji and translations and explanations. Despite this, I find it entrancing. I am learning Japanese script, and enjoyu learning and trying to translate from the romaji back into script, which is easier than romaji to English! My heart’s desire is to write haiku in hiragana, direct, not to write in English and translate, so I thank for this piece you wrote, it has helped me to take another step towards my understanding of Japanese haiku, and towards my goal.
I have placed a link on my site, both to this piece, and to you main poetry page. Your site and work are excellent!
Mark McGuinness says
Thanks Blue, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I saw the Aitken book in a shop ages ago but forgot the title and author, so I’m really glad you’ve reminded me of it!
1. ‘Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk ShÃµtetsu’ by Steven D. Carter: A fabulous collection of poems by the Japanese Zen monk, who wrote over 41000 poems in his life, tragically losing the first 30000 in a fire after thirty years as a poet. A fine collection of medieval Waka poetry. Text in English and romaji.
2. ‘Poems of a Mountain Home’ by SaigyÃµ, translated by Burton Watson: One of the most well known and influential Japanese poets. Translations of over 200 of his poems, almost exclusively writien in the Tanka form. Text in English and romaji.
3. ‘Ted Hughes Collected Poems’ edited by Paul Keegan: Awesome collection. Ted Hughes, the first poet I ever loved, and the only English poet I still read. To have all his works in one tome, along with hitherto unpublished drafts etc, fabulous, and an inspiration.