On Knowing Oneself Too Well by Takuboku Ishikawa — buy book – 9780615345628

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On Knowing Oneself Too Well
Selected Poems of Ishikawa Takuboku

by Takuboku Ishikawa, Tamae K. Prindle

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  • Publisher: Syllabic Press
  • ISBN: 9780615345628 (061534562X)
  • Release date: January 14, 2010
  • Format: paperback, 142 pages
  • Author: Takuboku Ishikawa, Tamae K. Prindle
  • Genres: poetry, japan
  • Language: english

About The Book

At the turn of the twentieth-century, Ishikawa Takuboku took Japan’s ancient, highly formal poetic tradition and turned it to the purposes of an impassioned sensibility in a rapidly modernizing world. Beginning with poems rich in childhood sorrow and wonder, he progressed in his short life to a poetry of searing objectivity and miraculous self-knowing. Before dying of tuberculosis, Takuboku achieved in his poems a kind of Buddhist awakening, observing by their means the emptiness of self in a riveting and heartbreaking world. On Knowing Oneself Too Well offers, in Tamae K. Prindle’s lucid translations, the most comprehensive selection available in English of this vital modern poet. “Ishikawa died at twenty-six, lived long enough to change his name to woodpecker, died young, lived long enough to take an old form, tanka, and make it new, died young, lived long enough to read foreign books and taste foreign wine, died young but had chance to sing himself a long song, Whitman’s eyes turned humbly, fiercely outward, careful what he sees, died young, lived long enough to build a body of poems that moves me the way weather does, birds and shabby autumn trees and all the other sorts of things that die young and make a spectacle of themselves, funny reminders, revelations, quiet ecstasies. Died young and left poems of a wry beauty, given to us here in quiet, affectionate English translation.” -Robert Kelly “The poet as woodpecker indeed: Ishikawa Takuboku’s clear pecked rhythms & images are a perfect delight. Are they large rain drops sparingly tapping the drum-taut paper of a shoji-screen or the poet’s tensed fingers rapping on his tablet? The reader sits & listens & looks and the world grows quiet except for that nano-perception that now begins to fill the world. The small daily pain or pleasure, exquisitely brought over into the simplest of words: and yet, all the world is thus said.” -Pierre Joris

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